Featured Story

Shelter Island Reporter Letter to the Editor: Jan. 26, 2023

Focus on fundamentals

To the Editor:

As a former member of the Shelter Island Board of Education, I am appalled at what transpired at a recent counseling session (“School Program aimed at teaching empathy misfires,” Jan. 19).

That the adult in the room, the teacher, did not realize how inappropriate, counter-productive and distracting this was, is in itself alarming.

It raises the question: Does this person have the maturity and judgment to be qualified for this sensitive position? If this is being done at other schools in the region, shame on them.

I believe that the United States has the highest cost per student of any country in the world. Shelter Island certainly would be near the top of this dubious distinction.

At the same time, the nation’s performance is not even close to the top. One can reasonably ask: Are we getting a satisfactory return on this investment?

It’s time for a commitment to focus on fundamentals: basic and enhanced math skills, science, writing skills, grammar, punctuation. Our students must be well-equipped to survive and excel in a challenging and competitive modern world.

Wasting time and money on the counseling curriculum described in the Reporter is the antithesis of promoting educational excellence.

DON BINDLER, Shelter Island