Topic: public education
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August 13, 2013 at 6:23 AM
Teachers can only do so much
As a high-school teacher with 32 years of experience, I read your Sunday editorial and once again reflected on the fact that everyone seems to know what is best for education, particularly if he or she has never been involved in the system except as students or parents. [“Teachers, districts should embrace reform,” Opinion, Aug. 11.]
This “embrace-all” solution advocated by the editorial board fails to address the reality of public education. Teachers are not miracle workers. They are forced to deal with whoever walks into their classroom. As many students with learning disabilities are meshed within a classroom of 30 students or more, teachers can only bring those students so far.
The new evaluation system takes time to learn and to implement, just as any new, complex, professional program does. Most districts offer a single day of “professional development” and begin the evaluation process in that same year, so asking teachers and districts to “embrace” the new system, particularly when the stakes are so high, shows complete ignorance.
Test scores, while currently regarded as the “be-all, end-all,” face the same problem as listed above. Students need time to adjust to new curricula, new methodology, and a new means of assessment.
This reeks of sudden-fix pontificating.
Toni Nyman, Shoreline
March 6, 2013 at 4:00 PM
Trupin relies too heavily on taxes
Remy Trupin is at it again: In his op-ed for The Seattle Times he describes — through his knothole — the needs of Washingtonians and then dreams up every imaginable tax to pay for it all [“Fully funding public education requires new tax revenue,” Opinion, March 5].
Not once did he mention the need to address the fraud and waste that erodes our budget by the millions daily, and not once did he mention the need to live within our means.
One would think, being the director of the Washington State Budget & Policy Center, a fiscal think tank, that he would understand basic math. You know, maxing-out your credit cards, getting another, maxing-out that one, then simply making minimum payments can only go so far — then it’s time to pay the piper.
But then again, he probably has another plan to pay the piper, like raising taxes again. Don’t you think it’s time to stop the madness already?
–Ron Kalina, Camano Island
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