January 5, 1995 in Idaho

Parents, Educators To Discuss Proposed English Standards Post Falls Elementary Language Arts Plan Will Be Presented Tonight

By The Spokesman-Review

A first-grader should learn to write short sentences from dictation, alphabetize words and match upper- and lower-case letters.

By the fourth grade, the student should be able to identify different kinds of literature, as well as literary devices such as similes and metaphors.

These standards are a fraction of those suggested in a 53-page document designed to guide English education in the Post Falls elementary grades.

Before this, elementary teachers in Post Falls had no comprehensive model for what they should be teaching children.

Parents and patrons will have a chance to comment on the proposed standards during a workshop scheduled tonight at 7 in the Prairie View Elementary School.

A handful of patrons have criticized the guidelines for inadequate grammar and spelling instruction.

Since meeting with critics in November, the language arts committee revamped the spelling guidelines. But the committee left the grammar sections untouched at the request of secondary teachers, said curriculum director Becky Ford.

“They unanimously begged us not to add more to the grammar section,” she said. “If we would please teach the children to put their thoughts on paper and teach the basic grammar components, that gave them the better writer.”

Copies of the proposal are available at the district office. Joni Hirst, a parent in the district, said she has reviewed the document and “felt pretty good about it.”

“There’s a point where we don’t all get exactly what we want, but it’s a compromise,” she said.

One of the proposal’s biggest critics, Don Morgan, said he is concerned that school administrators will hurry the process.

Administrators may ask the school board to adopt the proposal at its Monday meeting.

“Their commitment is not to rush this thing through,” Morgan said. “Yet, it feels like they’re rushing.”

xxxx WHAT’S HAPPENING Copies of the proposal are available at the district office. Administrators may ask that the plan be adopted by the School Board Monday.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email