What will this school year bring?


By Tom and Dee and Cousin Key



Dear Grandparenting: Most parents are happy when kids start back to school after summer vacation. Not me. I get a touch nervous about my grandchildren, just hoping they will survive.

Maybe it’s because I don’t hear too many good things about America’s public education system. Maybe it’s because middle schools and high schools seem more like hotbeds of trouble and temptation. Maybe it’s because my grandchildren are growing up in a world that gets crazier each day.

Should anyone need reminding, grandparents are often major financial contributors to their grandchildren’s education. We have a lot at stake, both in our hearts and wallets. So what can we expect in 2018-19 school year? C.C. Doran, Charlotte, Michigan

Dear C.C.: Millions of grandparents share your general concerns about the upcoming school year. According to a great many observers, America’s public school system deserves an overall grade of C minus or D plus.

The U.S. still spends more per pupil than most other developed nations, often with little to show. America trails most developed nations in terms of student performance — ranked 38th in the world in terms of how 15-year-olds perform in math, for example.

About 83 percent of students will graduate from high school, and 70 percent of those go on to attend college. The majority is sleep-deprived, according to government figures.

Elementary and secondary school enrollment is at record levels in many states. Classrooms are bursting at the seams. Larger school systems struggle to educate students speaking many dozens of different languages.

A greater problem is teacher retention. Even as more states and school districts offer incentives, professional development and salary increases, more than 40 percent of new teachers leave the profession within five years.

Teachers don’t have it easy. Divorce and separation, violence and poverty are real-world challenges many children bring to school every day. And as more technology works its way into the classroom, more teachers will find themselves instructing students with superior technological skills.

GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK

Rusty Busby, of Poughkeepsie, New York, reports that his wife, Betty, finished knitting a new cover for a cushion on their living room sofa.

“She included a little message,” said Rusty. “It goes like this: I HAVE GRANDCHILDREN. I LOVE TO TALK ABOUT THEM. CONSIDER YOURSELF WARNED!”

Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.

By Tom and Dee and Cousin Key

Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.

Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.