Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: education reform


EDUCATION: Where’s reform from the WEA?

Re: “Here’s an idea for rich school reformers: Listen to teachers” (Your Voice, 3-11).

Patricia Drake is certainly correct in her summary statement that “We can do better.”

Siding with Washington Education Association (WEA) President Mary Lindquist against millionaire Nick Hanauer, Drake seeks to dismiss his reform agenda as inferior to her 44 years as an educator.

She bemoans the fact that she has no voice when compared to the millionaire, yet if education reform were going to come from the WEA, its more than 53,000 teachers and millions of dollars it has to spend from teacher’s union dues

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EDUCATION: Reformers must work within current system

Reforming education has been going on for a long, long time. It’s not a new idea.

Every time a teacher improves what she does or how she does it or shapes a lesson to better fit her current class, she reforms – i.e., improves – education. Every time she consults with her colleagues looking for new ideas, together they reform education.

Good teachers do it all the time, nearly every day. That’s one of the things that makes them good. And, that is how improving our educational system will always occur one classroom at a time, one teacher at a

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EDUCATION: Union’s funding priorities askew

I received an email from Judi Owens, president of the Public School Employees of Washington, that included this statement:

“As the legislative session begins next week, education funding reform – including school employee insurance reform – must be at the forefront of everything lawmakers do. We must see measurable improvement in school funding beginning in 2012.”

Does she really believe that the Washington Supreme Court’s decision on education funding (TNT, 1-6) was to include the out-of-pocket health-care costs of the staff as part of basic education?

We have buildings closing, kids with fewer educational opportunities, people losing their jobs

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TEACHERS: Don’t base solutions on myths

Your editorial, “Seniority based teacher layoffs hurts schools, students” (2-13), is based solidly on four myths.

Myth 1: Everyone knows a bad teacher when they see one. There is a clear definition of bad teaching, and everyone knows what it is.

Myth 2: A good teacher can teach well no matter what the conditions.

Myth 3: We don’t have to worry about bad administrators. Administrators are more carefully hired than teachers, and they all know how to evaluate personnel dispassionately.

Myth 4: There’s no downside to firing experienced teachers, especially those in the later years of their professional life. After

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EDUCATION: Who is really responsible for a child’s education?

Where does the solution lie for fixing our failed education system?

Let’s see . . . we’ve tried “No Child Left Behind,” charter schools, smaller class sizes, the WASL, and the list goes on and on. The solution can be found in performing a little simple math.

Subtract 1,080 from 8,760, which gives you the sum of 7,680. Next, divide 7,680 by 8,780, which equals 0.876.

So what is the relevance of all this? Well, it’s significant when you look at the last number as 87.6 percent – the percentage of available hours in a year students spend with their

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