Retired librarian takes action in Boston

The following letter ran in the December 12th edition of the Boston Globe. See below how grandmother, and retired librarian, Lani Gerson, responds to school funding cuts and her own grandchild’s experience in kindergarten. We share the letter in hopes that her words will inspire others write their own letters that will help shine a spotlight on the current misguided school “reforms.”

School funding priorities are misplaced
DECEMBER 12, 2012
MY HEART sank when I read “Patrick targets local aid to
help cover budget gap” (Metro, Dec. 5), reporting further
reductions in state funding of schools. My grandson had just
come home from kindergarten, sadly reporting that he
couldn’t take out a book during his class’s weekly library
visit. There wasn’t anyone to check out the books.
That’s because, as a result of budget cuts, his school no
longer has a library teacher. She has been replaced with
volunteers. If no volunteer shows up, no books are checked
out.

At a time when children are not supposed to be left behind,
when schools are being badgered to race to the top, when
students are constantly “assessed” and tested (at no small
expense), funding for schools is continually cut.
How are children supposed to get invested in learning to
read when they can’t even check out a book from their
school library?

And then, if my grandson fails to pass reading tests, his
teachers will be punished, not the political officials and
supposed education experts who are taking schools down
this dangerous route.

Lani Gerson
Watertown
The writer is a retired librarian in the Newton Public Schools.

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