Latrell B. New York

Latrell Barker's Letter to the next president

Latrell Barker

November 4, 2016

Dear Future President,

Election Day is next week, but before that day comes, I would like to discuss about a problem in which I believe affects everyone in the United States & that problem is education reform. You maybe unaware of this but according to an article called “ 11 Facts About Education in America” “1.3 million high school students don’t graduate on time yearly. States with the highest rates (80-89%) are Wisconsin, Iowa, Vermont, Pennsylvania, & New Jersey. States with lowest (less than 60%) are Nevada, New Mexico, Louisiana, Georgia & S. Carolina.” Not only that but “30 years ago, the nation was the leader in quantity & quality of high school diplomas. Today, our nation is ranked 35th in education” according to the same article. From the rate of students not graduating to students not even being prepared for college, there are many things wrong with the education system in the United States. One place where there was a huge impact was in Jennings, Mo (Missouri), the school district there “has been one of the lowest-performing school districts in for some time” according to the Washington Post news Article “Superintendent meets needs beyond classroom to help poor kids succeed” At least that was the case until Superintendent Tiffany Anderson arrived at the Jennings school district & met with the people’s demands & other necessities that residents needed. She help improve academic & attendance in schools, started a college prep program to help students prepare for college & also provided jobs for graduates who weren’t able to find a job anywhere else. But now I would like to discuss about my personal experience with this & in hoping that you too would understand the situation.

It was back in 2014, during my 7th grade year of middle school. I was doing what I usually do talking with my friends & getting my work done. Then there was an announcement about the state test, I didn’t know what to expect but we all went to the auditorium to listen to whoever set up the assembly. The person who was speaking said that when the results of the state test came back, a majority of the school, yes the school, did horribly on the state test. This caused a lot of commotion since this surprised everyone, the students, the teachers, staff, & our principals. Before you ask, no I was not of the students who did horribly, but still it shocked me. I’ve been always on top of my school work, so the fact that the majority of the school did horribly on the state test was mind blowing. They even got a statistic of the results in the form of a pie chart & lets just say there were a lot of level 1’s & 2’s. From that point forward, the teachers did made sure that all of the material was taught & that no one fails the state test or gets a low grade. I can say that yeah, I don’t think that happen.

In the future, I would like it if schools can start their own saturday programs that way students who are struggling in their classes can get extra help from saturday school like Superintendent Tiffany Anderson did with the Jennings school district. “... Anderson has launched Saturday school, a college-prep program that offers an accelerated curriculum beginning in sixth grade, & a commitment to paying for college courses…” ( from “Superintendent meets needs beyond classroom to help poor kids succeed”) Not only that, but schools that provide for students without a home or who come from a family with a low-income. Also install more college ready programs, based on the article “ 11 Facts About Education in America” there’s a sentence which says “ High schools aren’t preparing students with the skills & knowledge necessary to excel after graduation. Only 1 in 4 high school graduate college-ready in the 4 core subjects of English, Reading, Math & Science.” This is what I want to happen in the future because everyone, no matter where they come from, deserve a good education.


Latrell Barker