The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


November 18, 2012

Student Readers' Forum 11-18 | Central Cambria students address issues

Editor’s note: The following letters were written by junior and senior students in social studies teacher Tom Aurandt’s law/current events classes at Central Cambria High School, Ebensburg.

State tests a waste

School systems are said to provide students with tools to succeed in life, but do they really?

The system has changed tremendously since I started high school four years ago. Teachers do not teach for the sake of passing along knowledge, but rather to help students pass tests such as the PSSAs or the newly instituted Keystone exams.

I fail to understand how these tests  should prevent students from graduating, when not every student takes the subjects being tested.

Students absorb knowledge in many different ways, but forcing them to take these tests and expecting them to pass on material learned years ago is imprudent. With this type of teaching, how are students supposed to be prepared for life after school? Without challenging and showing students they have potential to be something great in their lives, how are they going to learn this?

Students should be told that they can be anything when they grow up, and encouraged to have a fulfilling life after high school. They need to know that these tests aren’t going to be the end of the world for them.

Passion for teaching has progressively declined as years have passed, preventing students from seeing the school as a place where they can receive help. Is this what students of today should be faced with?

Briana Colopy

Anticipating price cut

If Pennsylvania gets a Shell natural gas plant outside of Pittsburgh, will the price of natural gas go down?

I’m thinking it should because we no longer should have to pay to import natural gas from overseas.

Why are we paying other countries for gas and oil when we have it here in our own backyards? And why have natural gas prices just increased by    15 percent to 20 percent? What gives?

Jonathan Bennett

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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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