Pubdate: Fri, 14 May 2004
Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 2004 Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Author: Vikki Perrella
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)
Bookmark: (Students - United States)


This is in response to the Charlotte County School Board's plans for random 
drug tests for students.

It's another half-baked idea from a group of people who can't seem to 
understand that their job is to see to the education of students. Looking 
at the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test scores leads one to conclude 
that they ought to be looking for new jobs, because they aren't doing the 
job they were elected to do. Forty-five percent of the eighth-graders in 
Charlotte County did not pass the FCAT for reading (up from a 41 percent 
failure rate in 2003); 60 percent of the ninth-graders did not pass the 
FCAT for reading; and 67 percent of the 10th-graders did not pass the FCAT 
for reading (up from 59 percent in 2003).

Yet our local board thinks random drug testing will help students?

By the way, this is the same group that voted for mandatory uniforms at 
Sallie Jones Elementary for a variety of reasons, which included, if memory 
serves me correctly, the fact that parents wanted it because wearing 
uniforms improves education.

Well, now our School Board chairwoman, Andrea Messina, says (regarding drug 
testing), "Students have told us this will help them." Please! Are these 
students the children of the parents who favored uniforms? And just what 
were the scores of the uniform-wearing Sallie Jones students? Fifth-grade 
math and reading scores went down. Maybe they ought to change the color 
scheme of those uniforms. But I digress.

Random drug testing will add nothing to education.

Vikki Perrella, Punta Gorda
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