Put your name, and a grade, on it


This letter is in response to the article , “A little help needed after high school,” by staff writer Tom Giambroni.

As a 2001 graduate of Lisbon DAHS and someone who has spent more than 10 years in higher education, I am both concerned and disheartened with the current state of education throughout Columbiana County.

It is disconcerting when such an overwhelming number of graduates from public county schools need to take remedial classes in college. Unfortunately, this has become a growing trend around the nation.

I have been employed as a university professor for the last four years, and I’ve seen the growing number of students who are required to take one or more remedial classes. Too often students enter college with deficiencies in key subjects that they should have been taught in high school. As a result, many students lack, at least initially, the cognitive thinking abilities and fundamental knowledge needed to succeed in higher education. Ultimately, many students are therefore being set up to fail.

It is apparent that many students throughout the county are deficient in college preparedness and the general knowledge needed to be ready for the demands of higher education. Should we cast doubt or put full blame on the student population? I think we would be remiss and narrow-minded to embrace such a misguided way of thinking. Perhaps, then, we should question schools and the quality of education that students are receiving.

High school is where students are taught core material in a wide range of subjects. Too often, however, students are taught only the most rudimentary content standards that are imposed and enforced by the state. Many students are simply “taught to the test” and nothing more. They rarely have the opportunity to thoughtfully question, analyze and critically reflect on material. But why do many area high schools continuously allow students to sell themselves short in their academic pursuits?

I call on individuals throughout Columbiana County and beyond to come together and take ownership of this issue. I encourage teachers and administrators to continue to invest in our students, both in and out of the classroom. I encourage folks to engage elected officials about the state of education and what can be done to chart a successful path forward. We need to have a viable plan that involves strategic engagement, transparency and perhaps most importantly, accountability. Altering the current state of education and student preparedness throughout the county won’t happen overnight, nor will it happen if we all don’t take ownership.

It is time to acknowledge that this is our county, these are our students, and we intend to do everything we can to make long-term investments in both.

Justin N. Crowl

Blossburg, Pa.

2001 Lisbon DAHS grad