EDITOR’S DESK: Midland teaches ‘rithmetic

       Trying to be fair in a news story is not always easy. A recent story quoted an individual who raised questions about educational quality in Westside schools. I sought to balance this with feedback from the District 11 superintendent and the West Middle School principal (because West was the focal point of the commentary).
       However, another school that was identified by name in the article - Midland Elementary - did not get the chance to respond. As a result, I later learned, a number of the Midland staffers were understandably annoyed, because readers were left with the implication that kids don't learn math there.
       So let's set the record straight right now. They do teach math at Midland. Not only that, they're getting progressively better at it, based on the CSAP scores from the 2001-02 and 2002-03 school years, which show a cumulative 37 percent improvement. Also, based on school information, it is clear that Midland has been providing math tutoring opportunities. Including a twice- weekly "Math Maniacs" after-school class, the school offers up to two hours of math instruction on a daily basis.
       But there's a catch to all this, and hardly a secret. Parents need to make their kids take classes like these. They need to make sure their homework is done, and in a quality manner. Even the best of teachers can't be counted on as a safety net when a kid slips through the cracks.

- K.J.