I am the parent of a Grade 4 student at Emily Brittain Elementary School. As with all other Pennsylvania schools, Emily Brittain falls under the scrutiny of the performance targets established by the No Child Left Behind Act.
While the legislation is good in spirit, the execution of it is impossible. In 2014, every school will be required to have 100 percent of its students in the testing age bracket to be proficient, or advanced, in both reading and mathematics. That doesn’t take into account students who may have special learning needs — all students take the same test.
Such a target is, frankly, impossible to achieve. So, what is a school to do when it is asked to achieve the impossible?
Emily Brittain focuses on giving each student the guidance and instruction needed to make personal progress. Make no mistake; this requires massive dedication from the principal all the way down.
The school’s principal, Jeff Mathieson, is an excellent administrator who has a seemingly undying passion for the education of the children in his charge. This principal knows each of the 400 children in his school by name and is constantly on the lookout for new and progressive means to help his students garner the most value possible from the school day.
His careful and meticulous use of school funding is admirable, including extracurricular activities and state-of-the-art teaching tools in many of the school’s classrooms.
However, Emily Brittain could not be successful without a full faculty of excellent, highly trained, highly dedicated instructors.
Since my son entered Emily Brittain, he has encountered one excellent teacher after another.
I am proud to be an Emily Brittain parent, and I encourage any parents who may be disenchanted with Butler School District schools to look at this institution as a shining example of what is possible.
Whether or not Emily Brittain meets the arbitrary No Child Left Behind targets, parents of students there may rest assured that the students are receiving the best education possible.