In Jan. 8 Issue
Legislative leadership appeared on KET this week in a program discussing the upcoming session and what we may expect.
Senator David Williams and State Representative Jeff Hoover were two of the four in leadership called upon for the public discussion.
Senator Williams has a long time relationship to Russell plus family ties to the area while Rep. Jeff Hoover is a native of Russell County. Russell County can be proud to have such representation and close association to this state leadership.
One thing that drew our interest were comments about the possibility of doing away with CATS testing in our school system.
CATS (Computer Assisted Testing System) has for a long time been somewhat controversial as to its usefulness and or success.
CATS, as we understand it, sets out certain guidelines for class preparation, teaching and a testing program later determines the success of the students and also the instructors.
Pro and cons of CATS range from concerns that only areas of testing are being taught while some basics are being overlooked to other concerns that classroom time is being lost as many classes end at the conclusion of the test and days are waisted.
Senator Williams expressed some of these same concerns and stated the elimination of the CATS program in the state could save millions of dollars while at the same time giving schools a return to good basic instructions.
Williams and Hoover both stated this was only being look at among many other ways of reducing an expected state budget deficit. They both stated other testing programs are available and at less cost.
While we are probably not informed enough to personally make a decision if the program is worthwhile, working properly or not, we do feel qualified to insist that our schools should not feel the blunt of the state’s deficit.
Our personal view at this time is that it is not worth the cost and some basic education may be lacking while pacing to much emphasis on test scores.
Professionals in the educational field should make the decision if this CATS program is worthwhile.
We do urge leadership to direct cuts to other areas than education. Our children deserve the best education possible and a good sound basic education should not be based on state budget woes. There are many, many other areas that could easily stand a little trimming.