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posted: 1/26/2014 5:00 AM

Elementary teachers deserve support

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My kids have received and continue to receive a top-notch education at Diamond Lake School. The instruction has not changed there over the last five years. The only thing that has changed is the student population.

There are more students now who are English language learner. How can ELLs be expected to test as well as native English speakers? There are also more low-income students now. Unfortunately, income levels correlate strongly with parental involvement.

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Not making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) is not about the teachers; it's about the parents. Parents need to take more responsibility for their young children's education, instead of breathing a collective sigh of relief when politicians blame the schools for their students' shortcomings.

Elementary classroom teachers are underpaid and underappreciated. But nevertheless, they work countless hours beyond the school day for their kids (your kids). It's a tough job, especially with criticism and unreasonable demands coming from every angle.

But despite all that, they continue to try their best every day because your kids need them. No one else will know your kids as well as they do.

I also dislike the verbiage that alludes to getting rid of those responsible for failing to meet AYP. Every teacher in that school is teaching, and every student is learning. It's a slap in the face to hardworking teachers to be told they have "failed" when so many factors are beyond their control.

Please do the right thing and support elementary school teachers, especially those at Diamond Lake School.

Jennifer West

Mundelein

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