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Cape Fear 2020: Future of school curriculum

READ MORE: Cape Fear 2020: Future of school curriculum
As technology continues to evolve at warp speed, will plans for our schools curriculum better prepare students for the future? Wrightsboro Elementary School kids all have big dreams. But will our local school systems be able to get them there? "I think it's a relevant question because we need to be planning for what will happen in 2020," Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Zelphia Grissett said. She believes the future is bright in Brunswick County. But it's going to take intensive teacher training. Grissett said, "There is a push to have students ready for the 21st century, and so we're trying to train our teachers in the use of technology integration so they are prepared to help students meet the accountability standards that they will face." According to the federal government, those standards will have to be met long before the year 2020. By 2014, the No Child Left Behind act will require all teachers to have at least a bachelor's degree. All children will have to be proficient in reading and math -- one hundred percent of students will be expected to pass their end of grade exams or score ten percent higher than on the previous year's exams. Grissett says this is a huge concern. "Not all students learn at the same rate at the same time, it is not reasonable to have children with disabilities that the child might learn at the same rate like a child that may be gifted, but with the federal law, it's pretty much unforgiving." Other challenges Brunswick County will face in the future are providing the resources for an increasing Hispanic population and students with disabilities. New Hanover County is dealing with many of the same issues. Before the No Child Left Behind deadline approaches the district will be looking into different ways of monitoring students' progression. One example is formative testing -- exams without grades and without using paper and pencil. Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Dale Pelsey-Becton said, "This is an activity that I've been doing with kids for years, and maybe it's not working with the group that I have now. What do I need to do differently so that the child can be successful -- because that is our ultimate goal." Pender County schools plan to do the same. Pender County Schools Director of Elementary Education Molly White said, "When they do formative assessments they can group and regroup them to their strengths and their weaknesses so it's an opportunity for us to enrich our high performing students and provide additional support to our students who are struggling." Each school district hopes to provide their teachers with as many tools and strategies needed to succeed in the future. They only hope already strained budgets won't prevent that from happening. New Hanover County is already trying out formative testing with a small group of students. If it's successful they plan to integrate it into their curriculum as soon as possible.

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If you can't beat em, join em?

By 2020, it's estimated that only 40% of this country's population will be "white." The other 60% will be from another country and culture. Why not give our children the advantage of acceptance and an open mind, plus the ability to thrive in that environment by being able to speak another language? Don't limit your child's potential because you are stuck in times past. Allow them to thrive when given the opportunity and to live with less hatred in their hearts than you have lived with in yours.


All this boils down to is our children no matter what language they speak or where they come from. Our children should be our top priority. I remember being in school & facing a test, especially the end of year exam, mostly I would fail. I would make A's & B's on classwork, projects, etc. but when a test would be passed around I would freeze & most of the time failed. I felt so dumb. I graduated high school by the skin of my teeth but graduated college with a 3.86gpa. It took some very patient & kind professors, who didn't have to follow these stupid tests that are given in high school, to remind me that I am smart, pushed me to become a tutor, which taught me how to excel in my studies & pass with flying colors on all my exams. I also paid for my own college, my living expenses & worked a full time job & my 3rd year I had no car & still worked 2 part-time jobs. My parents couldn't afford to send me to school & I was on my own at 18. So all those kids who whine they can't go to college & work & need their parents to pay for everything are only bringing themselves down. Yes you can do it.

Resources for Hispanics?

Why should Hispanic students require any more resources than White or Black students? When are we going to grow a backbone and say, "This is America - speak English?" I went to grammar school with a boy who had just moved to the United States from Italy. In the third grade, when he arrived, he could barely speak ten words of English. By the time eighth grade rolled around he spoke as well as any of us - better than many. Oddly, our school never hired anyone to teach in Italian. He had to sink or swim, and he did well. When are we going to stop being such dopes, and get back to what's truly important in this country?

My mother in law is from

My mother in law is from Okinawa and she came here not knowing english, but quickly learned as she was embarrassed not knowing this country's language. Her pride hastened the learning curve as the Japanese are a proud people. The problem today is people not knowing english are catered to with no consequences attached. Companies readily seek and hire bilingual applicants to further facilitate their non english speaking customers. When you come to America, english should be your #1 priority, it opens doors for you and you will advance farther in society. If America does not wisen up we in the not too distant future will be a bilingual nation, and that's so unamerican.

It should also be pointed out that Japanese... totally different than English. Nothing is structured the same. People on both sides of the ocean find learning the other's language very difficult - but somehow they do it. Meanwhile, English derives so much from the romantic languages, that anyone who speaks Italian, French, or Spanish usually finds it very easy to learn English....if they WANT to.

Reply to comment

I am very saddened by the attitude and the attitudes of many about some of the advantages that Hispanics may or may not be getting. I deal with children who have language barriers everyday and believe me the resources they receive are not as great as they may seem. The attitude that this is America and we need to speak English needs to go out the window. And speaking of learning a foriegn language in school, the purpose of that is not only to teach you the language but to teach you some of their customs and what is wrong with learning about someone else? The more you know about another culture the less likely you will misjudge them. Just because you know about someone else's culture does not somehow make you lose your identity. I am so tired of this attitude and until you walk in someone else's shoes don't be so quick to judge their situations!!!!

Maybe he doesn't want to walk in their shoes?

Maybe their shoes should be walking on their own country's soil? I notice you didn't even comment about the Italian boy he mentioned, who had to learn English on his own. If he could do it, why can't Hector or Julietta? Why can't THEY put out the extra work, instead of US putting out the extra money?

I am very glad that the

I am very glad that the Italian young man learned English on his own, so did I, but to say that they maybe better off walking in their own countries soils shows me how far we have really come as a country. Don't forget those people who you say should be back in their own countries are the ones building your houses and planting and picking what you eat, so I say they are still needed here. I did not ever say that they should not learn to speak English, I just said it is harder when you wake up at 4am and get home at 8pm at night sometimes. There are always those who use the system but that goes with blacks, whites, Hispanics, and so on.... I guess MLK's dream about people being more united was only a dream. Doubt your ancestors were originally from the US - maybe they have been here for generations but we all came here from somewhere else.


Life's tough, but it's tougher when you're a whiner instead of a doer. No one CARES if they are working from 4 AM to 8 PM. They came here voluntarily. They work those hours voluntarily....but their school-aged children don't! If my school mate could learn English, and you could learn English, that proves it can be done! If it's "harder," too friggin' bad - they have to work harder. I assure you that when the millions of Irish, German, Italian, and Chinese immigrants came to the United States in the last half of the Nineteenth Century and first third of the Twentieth Century, we didn't treat them special and have "additional resources" for them. Their children were thrown into the general school population and somehow came to be an integral part of America. My grandfather spoke German at home until the day he died, but five years after arriving here, he could speak, read, and write in English. He had to, to become a citizen. America didn't start teaching his native language - he learned English. They all learned English and it was entirely up to them...but they did it, gladly! That's because they wanted to be Americans. Not German-Americans, not Chinese-Americans, they just wanted to be Americans, and be a part of this country. BTW, nowhere in his speeches or writings will you find Martin Luther King advocating a separate culture existing within the United States, or government spending precious resources on assisting in maintaining that separation. It's the complete antithesis of everything he stood for.


Attitudes have nothing to do with it. If they are here illegally then they should be treated just like any other criminal that is breaking the law.


So if you were to decide to move to Mexico you would expect them to change their schools, their govenment forms and anything else to make you feel good? No way in hell would they do it and neither should we. The first post is correct, this is America..speak English. What you want to speak at home is your business. I have a problem when our tax dollars have to be spent to double print forms, once in English and again in Spanish.

Heck Yes, and if you have

Heck Yes, and if you have never attended a school in another country how in the heck do you know what they require. I am from Mexico and I know what they teach in school and English is something that is taught. The reason why some can not speak English when they arrive here is that they don't have above a 6th grade education because after a certain grade parents must pay for their children to attend school and if you are poor than guess what you don't have the same opportunities as others. So what if forms are sent out in English and Spanish. Everyone knows this is AMERICA and we all know that English is the official language here. You are crying about tax dollars being spent on extra forms but I believe we have even bigger fish to fry right now.

I agree

I agree completely. For those that think we should cater to immigrants, think about one thing. Would that country cater to us? The answer is obviously NO. So why should we do the same? This is America and if you want to live here, that is great, but learn to speak english. My tax dollars should not be wasted on hiring someone to teach in someone's native language