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I am writing in regard to the loss of privileges to many seniors at Boyertown High School because of poor performance on the P.S.S.A. tests. I went to the recent school board meeting and was very upset that this was hardly mentioned. Two mothers did get up and let their feelings known. The meaning of the P.S.S.A. stands for “Pennsylvania System of School Assessment.”
When my son came home and told me about his loss of privileges I thought how many could this affect: ten, twenty or at the most thirty? Try well over one hundred, some say closer to two hundred. In a class of around five hundred—that is too many.
Included in these one hundred plus students are above average, average, and yes below average students. Seniors that have scored below proficient had their privviledges taken away. I am sorry not all of our students are proficient or above. Should these children be punished because they are not smart enough?
I have to ask: Is putting these students in a guided study hall, where they cannot talk, really going to help? Or will it make them more resentful? Is not allowing someone to drive to school, so they cannot stay after school for extra help or work on a project, going to improve their grades? What is not letting them go out to lunch going to prove—that the lunch room is overcrowded?
The students have a chance to earn their privileges back for the second semester. They must earn a 82% in the subjects they were not proficient in. What about the student who just cannot do it? I guess they get nothing.
I have looked in the student handbook and nowhere does it mention loss of privileges for academic reasons. Yes, I know it was discussed last November. If policy was changed, why wasn’t it rewritten in the handbook? P.S.S.A.’s are going to be a thing of the past, this year I believe. Why? They do not work. I mentioned in the beginning the definition of P.S.S.A. “School Assessment,” not student. Let’s find out what went wrong in our school that so many scored so low.
I would like to ask anyone who feels the same to come to the next school board meeting. Senior year should be a happy time in our children’s life, not miserable like this one is starting out.
Nancy Jacoby of Boyertown