School district should spend some time reviewing for SAT exam

After reviewing the New Jersey state report cards I was shocked to see that Jackson Memorial High School’s SAT average is 997! Yes, 997! What does this number tell us about the school? It tells us that whatever the curriculum encompasses does not help in improving SAT scores.

I have three children enrolled in the Jackson School District; two in the high school (sophomore and junior) and one in the Goetz Middle School (eighth grade).

My family and I moved from Howell to Jackson two years ago. While I was covering a social studies book for my then seventh-grader, I noticed that it was the same book she had used as a sixth-grader in Howell the previous year.

I called her teacher to explain this to him and all he said was, "Well, these are the only books we have for that grade and we are not going to put her in an eighth grade social studies class. And she should ace the class then."

Needless to say, my daughter was forced to waste 10 months being retaught the same material she had been taught the previous year. Then they wonder why SAT scores are not improving.

Middle school and high school grading is comical, too. Where else can a student gain extra points for a test/grade if their parents sign the test, if they bring in a new toy for the needy, or if they bring in canned goods for the food pantry? Gee, this again really helps our children’s intellect.

I find it amazing that with the high taxes Jackson residents pay, the lotteries, and the state aid, it was said that surgical gloves for dissecting, paper, pencils and chalk are not "in the school budget"

Maybe if the teachers go back to the "old fashioned" way of teaching — with a book instead of work sheets — they could have afforded the needed supplies.

My son’s biology book was at home for the entire semester. The teacher did not teach from the book, but rather made daily worksheets to give to the students. Is this a waste of money or what?

Recently he had a Spanish substitute teacher for two days. During this time he did not teach any Spanish, but had the class watch movies such as Fools Rush In and Miss Congeniality. I could have my son stay at home to watch these movies. This again is a waste of the taxpayer’s money.

Getting back to the SAT scores. The high school should have two mandatory hours per week of after-school SAT preparatory starting in junior year. I think this will greatly improve the SAT scores. I know the high school offers an SAT review class as an elective.

However, my son’s teacher told the class that the course is not recommended, that the course would be a waste of time. The College Board publishes actual SAT test books. This is how this course should be taught to these students. I think this would greatly improve the SAT scores of the Jackson student body.

My son that is a junior took the SAT in the very early part of his junior year and he scored a 1,260, which is above the state average. This was most impressive for his first time taking the test. He is planning to retake the SAT again in April in hopes of increasing his scores.

As a parent I invested in enrolling him in an eight-week SAT course and purchased SAT software, books, etc. to help him achieve his goal of increasing his scores. As a parent I did this to help my son. As a school, I’m sure they can do this for all of their students without any extra expense.

Janice D’Anna