Picketers Protest West M Reading Practices

by WHIZ Reporter on May 22, 2012 at 1:28 am

An area woman has taken her fight with one local school district to the picket line.

Pam Tignor is upset with the way her children were being taught to read while they were enrolled in the West Muskingum Local School District.

Her two children both had an I.E.P. (Individualized Educational Plan) with the district.

She has since pulled then children from the district and is currently home-schooling both of them.

On Monday, Tignor, along with other picketers, including the two children in question, held up signs outside of the West Muskingum School District’s Administrative Office on the West Pike.

Tignor spoke to WHIZ’s Erika Brooks and said she would like to see the reading program better adapt to student’s needs.

"Their reading programs are based on sight they’re not based on sound they pump these kids full of hundreds of sight words per year and that’s how they teach them to read," said Tignor. "Now not all children learn to read by sight a lot of children have to be taught by sound explicit systematic phonics. My child is one, thousands are the same."

Tignor believes the solution is to change the way all children are taught.

"There is no reason why anyone cannot read. No reason unless you have some huge cognitive disability. They’re not reading because the program is based on sight," Tignor said.

Tignor said she has tried to meet with administrators about the issue and was told the earliest she could meet with West Muskingum Local School District Superintendent Dr. William Harbron was June 5th, which is after the last day of school.

"What man is too busy to meet with the parents of special needs kids? He has an open door policy, open to who?"

Superintendent Dr. William Harbron spoke with WHIZ’s Gabe Ross Monday afternoon about the complaint involving Mrs. Tignor.

Harbron said Mrs. Tignor’s complaints began back during the 2009-2010 school year, before he took over as Superintendent.

He said he was made aware of the situation, and has even offered dates after the school year to hear her concerns regarding the needs of the children.

"She has echoed concerns in the past about the reading approach used by the district. The district uses, particularly in the elementary schools, a balanced literature approach," said Harbron.

With Tignor’s children being home-schooled, the boys no longer fall under the jurisdiction of West Muskingum Local Schools.

Harbron said with a busy end of the year schedule, He wants to be able to set aside time for Tignor to voice her concerns.

"She was provided 4 dates in which to select from. She was understood that that was to be the next day, and I decided, no, that it wasn’t to be the next day, because my schedule had already been planned out for that day, and had meetings, and I also thought by having it after school, I could allocate the time she needed in order to present her particular issues," said Harbron.

Dr Harbron Provided WHIZ News with a copy of the report from the Ohio Department of Education regarding Mrs. Tignor’s complaints.

The report states while the District did not provide the required monthly DIBELS progress report during the 2009-2010 school year, the District was not in violation of any other ordinances.

WHIZ News also received a copy of the district’s reading policy, entitled, "West Muskingum’s Literacy Journey" which is available on the left side of the page.

Tignor added that she would likely not re-enroll her children in the district.