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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 5, 2013 at 6:36 PM

Training great teachers

Parental poverty

Michael Lundin briefly referred to the great obstacles that keep education in the U.S. dead centered: race and poverty. [“Guest column: How to train great teachers,” Opinion, Sept. 5.]

They are really the same problem. We use race to justify the poverty we see in the inner cities.

The question that rushes to mind is, why can’t we solve this? It seems the richest nation in the world lacks the capacity to provide everyone with the education they need.

Top on the list for attention is a raise in the minimum wage. As finance writer James Surowiecki says in a recent New Yorker, wages have come down, and “the pay is too damn low.”

Studies have shown that a dollar increase in the hourly wage of a parent results in their children having a greater readiness for school and higher grades in it.

Is anyone paying attention?

William DuBay, Poulsbo

Character education and understanding teachers

Michael Lundin is obviously gifted at learning, teaching and writing.

I do disagree with one point, and would want to add one or two other points.

Most college graduates and a lot of high-school graduates would be capable of teaching math well, even if they weren’t in the top third of their college classes. They would need adequate training. What is missing is adequate training and a school curriculum that is set up to improve the areas that students are falling flat in.

Students also need to be schooled in character education to understand that honesty and persistence will pay off.

It is true that an inspired teacher can do all that and inspire a love of the subject, but a school system that develops an educational system and curriculum that includes these values will succeed, even if they can’t hire someone from the top third of their class to inspire them.

Sometimes, it’s a teacher who once had trouble in math that will understand why a student is not understanding a concept.

Keith Wellman, Freeland, Island County

0 Comments | More in Education, Seattle | Topics: education, parents, public school

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