Yes to reform - and teachers - Coeur d'Alene Press: Editorial

Yes to reform - and teachers

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Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 12:00 am

On Friday and Sunday, The Press will publish editorials explaining the editorial board's support for the three education propositions on the Nov. 6 ballot. But before we tell you why we believe these are important steps in elevating public education in Idaho, we want to state unequivocally our support for all the great teachers in our state and particularly in North Idaho.

The public education structure has fallen far behind what's needed for Idaho's students to compete in tomorrow's work world. Education isn't alone in having fallen behind; in the blink of an eye the world has changed faster and more dramatically than ever before, and few have adjusted sufficiently. Yet public education will flourish again because it continues to attract some of the finest, most dedicated professionals. Within a more effective structure, those individuals will be public education's salvation.

Why do teachers feel demonized? Part of the problem is the "us vs. them" drumbeat from unions that allegedly represent them, but it's also true that it's demoralizing to be identified as a target in a reform movement that has swept almost every state of the union. As is generally the case, a few poorly equipped or insufficiently motivated employees can give an entire profession a bad name. Fortunately, the education industry is still populated primarily by good teachers and administrators who lack only better tools and better direction.

Just as we applaud all the great teachers, we lament the fact that Idaho's reform movement has been backed by a group of antagonists for all the wrong reasons. With some of these folks, "reform" is a code word for "attack;" in their eyes, the dismantling of public education in favor of religious or other dogma-directed instruction is the real objective. In that sense, there is a bad taste left in the mouth as we're about to issue ardent support for the three propositions. We regret that some will lump us in with a political/religious faction whose actions reflect their personal beliefs more than they represent what's best for most children.

We favor stronger public education with higher standards not just so our students can compete with anyone in any classroom, but so they can capture and keep good jobs when they're ready. It has long been our belief that a good life starts with a good job. Good jobs usually come to those with a good education.

Let's all remember that the single greatest determinant in quality education is the teacher. Teachers who feel support, even love, during the most difficult times of transition will reward you many times over for your belief in them.

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4 comments:

  • inclined posted at 2:17 am on Thu, Oct 25, 2012.

    inclined Posts: 681

    As in out town today, the cowboys and frontier men wanted a cheap, quick, painless way to cure what ailed them. And when it came to the appeal of patent medicine, tonics, and elixirs, it took gullible, low informed, backward people to make their day.

    Mike, you remind me of one of these Medicine men. "Diphtheria instantly relieved and permanently cured by using "Kurakoff, Nature's Life Preserver." People were suckered in because there was a scarcity of qualified doctors. In their absence, "granny" remedies and magic cure-all's were substituted. If you are the substitute for insightful and quality journalism, people do drink your concoctions.

    To make matters worse, many of the elixirs were concocted by greed-inspired men who could boast a medical degree, and some of the poorly trained physicians in country practice actually prescribed the pills and potions of the traveling medicine men. You presume too little from your readers. You too come up with backing a remedy for all the wrong reasons. Your scope of understanding of this issue gives good practitioners in your trade a bad name.

    The main reason for the tonics demand was the alcohol content. Some of the more popular tonics like Hostetter's Celebrated Stomach Bitters had an alcohol content of 44.3% by volume. Others, like Parkers Tonic had 41.6% and Peruna had 28%. You sell papers with its own kind of inebriating content.

    Those old western folks forked over their hard-earned dollars for every kind of tonic, salve, or solution. And it was not just the cowboys or miners who paid for the philter. People of all ages and walks of life, including women, and children heard of and consumed the brew.

     
  • martman posted at 5:52 pm on Wed, Oct 24, 2012.

    martman Posts: 16

    "Why do teachers feel demonized? Part of the problem is "us and them" drumbeat from unions that allegedly represent them." How insulting. As if teachers are not smart enough to read and process legislation aimed directly at them. The only drumbeat I've heard is the ads from the "Yes" people, to the point of calling IEA leaders "union bosses." The last I heard the IEA President was a high school librarian 14 months ago. Today she's a "union boss" who has Butch quaking in his boots that the schools are going to taken over. What nonsense.

     
  • harrisonguy posted at 11:41 am on Wed, Oct 24, 2012.

    harrisonguy Posts: 14

    Once again it's Union this and Union that. Not all the teachers against the reform are even in the union.
    Bad time to be a teacher in Idaho. The conservatives can't stand you and have painted teachers as the enemy. Oh, and the pay is near the bottom in the nation.
    The only teachers coming to Idaho will be new teachers just trying to get a job or those who like hunting and fishing.
    Starting pay in WY for a teacher with a MA is 61K. In Idaho...31K.

     
  • parent posted at 10:55 am on Wed, Oct 24, 2012.

    parent Posts: 347

    " we lament the fact that Idaho's reform movement has been backed by a group of antagonists for all the wrong reasons. With some of these folks, "reform" is a code word for "attack;" in their eyes, the dismantling of public education in favor of religious or other dogma-directed instruction is the real objective. In that sense, there is a bad taste left in the mouth as we're about to issue ardent support for the three propositions. We regret that some will lump us in with a political/religious faction whose actions reflect their personal beliefs more than they represent what's best for most children."

    You are one hugely irritating person Mike Patrick!

     
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