Op-Ed: No Excuse for District 89’s Overcrowded Kindergartens

THE OPINION PAGEBy Dr. Wylmarie N. Sykes

The start of school and the entrance into Kindergarten sets the tone for a child’s future education. If a child feels happy and successful when they first go to school, then they are likely to continue in this pattern until they become successful adults. Unfortunately, this is not happening for many kindergarten children in Maywood and Broadview. In the last Board Meeting of the Maywood-Melrose Park-Broadview School District 89, many parents from Maywood and Broadview complained about overcrowded, unsafe classrooms. Some parents criticized the District administrators for packing in 53 kindergarten children into one classroom with one teacher.

This is child abuse. The poor children who are being stuffed into overly large classes have no control over their situation. The unfortunate students at all grade levels are being setup for failure. These students who cannot get a good education are being setup to feed the prison system. Does not anyone feel guilty about this? Why is the community complacent about this abuse of our children? These overcrowded classes are also abuses of the teachers. Teachers are frustrated and can use little of their professional expertise in such overtly crowded classrooms. Why is the teacher’s union not protesting overcrowding?

The Superintendent says the average class size is 39. That is twice what it should be. Moreover, if some classes have 53 students, then mathematically, some other schools have low class sizes of 25. Where are those smaller classes located? Is discrimination and unequal allocation of resources occurring within School District 89?

Someone should investigate. Moreover, competent Education Technology Specialists could double student achievement in School District 89 within two years–three at most. So, there is no excuse for mediocrity and the failure to push for excellence for all the students in Maywood, Broadview and Melrose Park.

Dr. Wylmarie Sykes is the CEO of Operation Safe Child, a Maywood nonprofit that focuses on juvenile public safety awareness. You can contact her at 708.415.3897, or wyl@aol.com.

 

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