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Voice of the people

Mar. 13, 2013 @ 06:42 AM

Education bill isn't about reform

Confused! It's perhaps the only word to describe my feelings about the long-anticipated "educational reform." I naively expected it to include additional professional development, funding for technology and other research-based actions. I envisioned it would focus on providing resources that would allow students to utilize the tools needed to live in a global society and prepare themselves for careers.

What I found was a bill that belittles the most important occupation in the world. Page after page strips individuals in the public education system of the most basic rights afforded to individuals in other professions. How will that improve education? It won't! It was apparent that drafters of the document have never been in a classroom.

The audit, paid for by taxpayers, revealed that the State Department employs one staff person for every 419 students. The audit was also critical of the numerous regulations set forth by the state Board of Education. There certainly is no reform in Senate Bill 359, which is an attack on an already beaten-down profession. I spend my personal money for school supplies, books for my students, teaching resources, food and clothing for students who have financial difficulties and numerous hours of "unpaid" personal time, and yet misguided legislators think their proposals are going to improve education.

To truly improve education, find a way to increase parental involvement, provide the necessary funding for classroom supplies and resources, provide professional development that is research-based and applicable, and eliminate bureaucracy. Also, instead of lowering the standards for superintendents and teachers (Teach for America), perhaps start attracting and retaining quality educators by increasing pay, building employee morale and providing adequate resources to the students. It is evident that support for SB359 is not designed to reform education -- it is out to destroy it!

Andy Bird

Hurricane

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