EXPECTATIONS IN SHELBY
|Published in Germantown News November 6, 2006 page 3
In response to your article, "Shelby County schools get glowing report card," I question the assumption that "If Shelby County schools had parents, they'd be very proud."
The fact is, Shelby County Schools students do have parents, and that is why Superintendent Bobby Webb can be so happy and proud. Citing the expenditures per pupil in
school districts having fewer students is not something that should reflect favorably upon the SCS district. Due to the outdated funding structure (between the county and
city schools), the county district parents are continuously asked to donate funds to assist the school in purchasing equipment no longer provided for in the school's budget
This equipment is targeted towards enhancing the multi-sensory needs of all students, particularly in the arts, physical education, and music departments. These departments
were originally in place to enhance the academic learning environment. Without them, the brain‚s connections, via the corpus callosum, and other pathways, cannot grow
when the brain is most plastitic. One Shelby County school psychologist due to "lack of scientific proof" has vehemently denied this learning theory. I have made it clear to
this psychologist that it would be unethical to prove, and any positive proof would be anecdotal.
In Paul Thompson's Research Publications, mapping of the corpus callosum, (the billions of fibers that form connections between the left and right brain hemispheres) from
infancy through the geriatric years is well documented. If these development opportunities are not optimized, learning in the primary and middle school years suffers.
For example, novel gross motor input stimulates the speech centers in the brain. Other visual, tactile, and auditory input impacts connections in other ways, and facilitates
learning. Lack of sensory integration stimulation in these early years becomes evident later on. The statewide increase in middle and elementary students failing the reading
tests, and the 25 percent of high school students failing the Gateway exam are examples of lost opportunities to educate children during the best time to optimize their
A college band director once said, "We are only as strong as our weakest link." The majority of parents may point their fingers at special education, minority, or
economically disadvantaged children as the ones pulling down the statewide average. However, the scores for all these groups fell. Where is the "value added?" As parents,
we need to demand more brain-based learning programs to be incorporated in the system so all students can score at 100 percent. Well-educated students will change the
future. We all should care about adding value, not measured through statewide testing, but through arts programs, and opportunities for all to learn strategic thinking skills,
reading music, artistic skills, playing organized games, all through the school setting, not separate and apart from it, at parent expense.
|Jennifer Cummins * 2010 * Brain Education Through Sensory Education * Advocate for your Child!