Local school exceeds all state academic standards; Hundreds of local elementary students love learning due to the dedicated efforts of committed faculty and staff"; Community rallies around its school.
These are just three possible headlines that would accurately describe the situation at North Harlem Elem-entary School. Why dont we see headlines like these?
A couple of reasons come to mind. One, negative titles like failing, underperforming and needs im-provement grab our attention much quicker. Two, perhaps we have grown ac-customed to these standards of excellence over the years that we as a society have grown a little blas about the effort that our educators put into teaching our children.
I applaud the ideals be-hind No Child Left Be-hind. However, some of the application of this legislation is causing more harm than good. First of all, if you were to walk into any public school in Columbia County, you would find the idea of leaving no child behind at the heart of that school .... When I walk into my childrens school at North Harlem, I see the dedication, hard work and commitment to children of Harlem in every faculty member and every staff member at that school.
Placing a label upon a school such as failing or non-performing or even under-performing ... brings down morale, builds resentment and stirs up the community, particularly when the reason for the label is not academic.
North Harlem Elementary School has its obstacles, as does every school. But the community, the PTA and the faculty and staff of this school are more committed than ever to educating our children. I am proud of this school. I am proud of the outstanding leadership that Principal Lisa Soloff continues to provide to an outstanding staff.
As a parent I demand that my children receive an excellent education, and at North Harlem Elementary School I know that they are getting what they need.
Rev. Roger A. Vest
North Harlem PTA
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