Hello.  I’m Olive Lansburgh and my name was drawn from a hat to be “interim” editor of the Upper Rogue Independent while Nancy Leonard is on a medical leave of absence.  I do not pretend to know what I’m doing, but I feel privileged to help  my friend.

As Interim Editor, I’ll start by sharing my “wonderment” with you.
Recently I read that over half the schools in Jackson County have failed to make “adequate progress” in benchmarks set by the “No Child Left Behind” federal education law.  That’s a 50 % increase from the number of schools that didn’t make progress during the 2009-2010 school year.  District 9 schools are in this group needing improvement. I must mention and congratulate the Shady Cove and Trail schools which did not make this list.

However, all D9 schools “need improvement” in math scores at all grade levels, especially students in at least one of the following
categories:  “economically disadvantaged”, special education, or are learning English.

This year our students have made progress, according to Cynda Rickert, superintendent.  Scores are heading up in both reading and math, not as much as needed, but they are certainly going in the right direction.

I’m concerned that both the state and federal governments changed the rules in this year — the state by requiring students in elementary school to get higher math scores —and the federal government by requiring 70% of students must pass math and English tests, up from 59%in math and 60% in reading from previous years!

Now, for my “wonderment” mentioned above.  I am wondering, hoping that we all can do the right thing for our students, our children, by working together, by listening and learning from each other instead of complaining and accusing.  We can move forward or tread water.  We can set an example or be an example. It’s up to us as a community.

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