The following article was written by a retired Mentor School District teacher. It was important to this retired teacher that the truth get to the taxpayers in the Mentor School District.
We appreciate the teacher’s courage in revealing how far the school district has fallen from its original top flite status as one of the premier school’s in Ohio.
REVELATIONS OF A RETIRED MENTOR TEACHER
I read your most recent post on Lake County schools declining and wanted to offer some insight. Let me tell you some history that has led to the Mentor School District’s demise.
While Dr. Hoynes was superintendent the standards were high. Teachers were expected to dress professionally, cell phones had to be hidden in our desk drawers, and the focus was on test scores and data and teaching and learning. All of that went out the window when the next superintendent was hired, Matt Miller. (Last year, he was forced to resign as super of Lakota for his inappropriate behavior, much of which happened during his time as Mentor superintendent…https://protectlakotakids.com/ this is a fascinating read, especially the ex-wives interview with the sheriff in what took place during his time in Mentor.)
With him in charge, the focus was on the furniture of the school, computers in every lap, teachers dressed down (leggings, t shirts, tennis shoes), cell phones were allowed to be in teacher’s hands all day because they were expected to tweet things happening in their classrooms. There was ZERO focus on test scores, data, or the outcomes of student learning. Instead, crazy and I mean CRAZY programs were brought in, such as Responsive Classroom, where the focus is on feelings instead of right vs wrong behavior.
A crazy reading program was taught that was based off whole language (the research is clear that PHONICS needs to be explicitly taught, but this program had zero phonics in it). Instead, kids were in small groups of 6 students reading a book while the rest of the class was doing busy work at their seats, resulting in lots of wasted instructional time.
There was a crazy math program brought in where we were teaching kids completely inefficient ways to add, subtract, multiply and divide. Algorithms were thrown out the window in math. (THIS is the true reason why kids in Lake County can’t do math at all!!! They were taught some of the most ridiculous ways to solve problems). Watch the following video and fast forward to the Box Method to see how kids learn to multiply these days. [3:15 minute mark of the video]
Then there was the behavior which has completely overtaken schools. Kids come to kindergarten and are literally tearing up the classrooms. Tearing all the bulletin boards down, running around the school, running out the doors of the school with teachers chasing, destroying classrooms, all while the rest of the class is forced out into the hallway to sit on their Ipads all day while little Johnny is allowed to tear up a classroom. Why aren’t we removing the bad kid? Why are we removing the good kids and having a wasted teaching day? Parents need to question why are there ”emotional disturbed (ED)” classrooms for elementary kids? WHY are there emotional disturbed elementary kids??? And if you think this is bad, go to the middle schools where behavior is a daily disturbance to classes, add phones and social media and the problems are out of control.
There are many parents in public schools who have no idea how to parent. They are raising animals. Other parents need to wake up to what is going on in their kid’s classrooms. There are ultra-liberal teachers now, kids out of control, reading and math programs that completely ignore research. And another thing, all the new counselors in the schools from Crossroads are some of the most leftist people you will ever meet, I wouldn’t want any of them talking to my children!
The three key take-aways to improve Mentor schools:
1. Bring back traditional reading and math programs that WORK not the latest fad being sold by the textbook companies.
2. Focus on behavior, have consequences for the bad.
3. Stop hiring the people with the “Woke” agenda, and hire good, moral people who know what they are doing.
I’m hearing Mentor could be taking a big hit with Ed Choice this year. I personally know of at least 3 families of children pulled out of Mentor and going to Catholic schools with the Ed Choice Scholarship in hand (one parent told me how her child came home asking what gay was because her teacher talked everyday about how he was gay; this was the last straw for that family).
I simply don’t know if districts like Mentor can be saved. It breaks my heart that it is nothing like the district of the 80’s and 90’s. It is a shell of what it once was. The only way to save it is for all new board office level administrators to be hired after a very careful vetting process, new superintendent, new assistant superintendents, new curriculum director, new gifted and special ed coordinators – ALL NEW. Currently, there aren’t many conservative teachers left in public education and even fewer administrators.
You see the problems are way deeper than you can ever imagine.