Letters to the Editor: Grade retention and protecting the aquifer

By , Daily Memphian Updated: March 12, 2021 1:37 PM CT | Published: March 12, 2021 10:13 AM CT

Paul Thomas says holding back third-graders can create long-lasting problems, and another letter writer, Duffy-Marie Arnoult, says we must protect the Memphis Sands Aquifer.

Letter to the Editor: Grade retention harms children

4:00 AM CT, March 12

While it is increasingly popular across the U.S. to pass third-grade retention laws as part of larger reading policies, often under the guise of the “science of reading,” there are decades of research showing that grade retention is extremely harmful to children, especially minoritized students and students living in poverty.

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the largest organization of English teachers in the U.S., “oppose legislation mandating that children, in any grade level, who do not meet criteria in reading be retained” and “oppose the use of high-stakes test performance in reading as the criterion for student retention.”

Tennessee Democrats seek to address ‘broken’ education funding with flurry of bills

As well, the National Education Policy Center in Boulder, Colorado, has issued a policy brief warning that states “[s]hould not adopt ‘ends justify the means’ policies aimed at raising reading test scores in the short term that have longer-term harms (for example, third-grade retention policies).” Further, states “[s]hould not prescribe a narrow definition of ‘scientific’ or ‘evidence-based’ that elevates one part of the research base while ignoring contradictory high-quality research.”

Tennessee must not fall prey to trendy political gimmicks that harm children and do not address the needs of those children learning to read.

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Letter to the Editor: Don’t jeopardize the Memphis Sands aquifer

4:00 AM CT, March 12

As a Memphian and co-founder of The Climate Reality Project: Memphis and Mid-South Regional Chapter, I know we enjoy some of the best drinking water in the country, drinkable straight from the tap.

We bottled our water and sent it to Flint residents to help with their water contamination crisis, so why would we consider endangering our Memphis Sands Aquifer, supplying life-giving water to our community, for the Byhalia Connection Pipeline? 

Texas oil companies, Valero and Plains All American, stand to make billions in profit and our community, especially our South Memphis and North Mississippi neighbors, hold the health and environmental risks. The Army Corps of Engineers granted the Nationwide 12 permit, however they noted that “oil spills are reasonably foreseeable future actions.”

Emissions from fossil fuels are the dominant cause of global warming. Environmental injustice and new fossil fuel infrastructure have no place here today or in the future. 

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Letters to the Editor third-grade retention Memphis Aquifer Paul Thomas Duffy-Marie Arnoult The climate reality project Byhalia Pipeline
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

The Daily Memphian welcomes a diverse range of views and invites readers to submit Letters to the Editor at letters@dailymemphian.com. Submissions should be fewer than 250 words in length. Preference will be given to letters addressing local issues. Writers must provide their name, city where they reside, email address and phone number. Letters that are published will include the writer’s name and city. Anonymous submissions will not be considered.


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