To the editor: In response to Bob Crandall’s letter to the editor from Sept. 15, we’d like to suggest that even if “vociferous cheering rarely alters the score on the board” (a puzzling contention given overwhelming research proving that morale boosts performance), vociferous booing will certainly alter the score for the worse.

In this metaphor, we are not cheering Kent County Public Schools for their struggles. We are doing our best to reward effort and boost morale within an underfunded, under-appreciated and overworked school system.

Our teachers and administrators have been asked to educate students not with the resources they need and deserve, but by “sucking it up” — the unhelpful approach suggested by County Commissioner Ron Fithian last time our schools asked for more funding.

Mr. Crandall claims that “underperformance is attributed to indiscernible social factors.”

All three of our elementary schools serve high poverty populations — Galena at 58.39%, Garnet at 88.25% and Rock Hall at 94.74%. We are the only county in the state with 100% concentration of poverty in all schools. Kids are coming to school hungry. They are looking after younger siblings while their parents work multiple jobs to make ends meet.

We have many kids with special needs, learning disabilities, and a host of other challenges that come from not getting what they need at home or in school.

Our suspicion is that Mr. Crandall finds these hurdles “indiscernible” because he’s never set foot in any of our schools or spoken with the teachers and administrators who are working exhaustively from 6 a.m. to late in the night to care for their students.

(There frankly isn’t time in the day for the “bureaucratic malaise” that Mr. Crandall seems to think is at fault).

We suggest that Mr. Crandall take a few hours to experience the “real world” of Kent County by meeting some of our hard-working students and dedicated teachers, reaching out to our overworked administrators or volunteering for any number of county non-profits that work toward helping the less-privileged members of our community (many of whom are the very students he denigrates).

If not cheering, perhaps he might refrain from standing by the sidelines booing with all his might.

He might even discover that the home team has some real grit, despite what the scoreboard says, and that our students, teachers and administrators are well worth fighting for.

Robbi Behr

Jodi Bortz

Rebecca Heriz-Smith

Elizabeth Proffitt

Support Our Schools

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