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Teachers should protest their own unions, not DeVos

The June 26 article regarding U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her plans for school choice vs. the teachers union protest brings to light the phenomenon of dumbing down that has become a hallmark of much of our school system ("Betsy DeVos protest filled with vulgar signs, foul language in Colorado Springs, attendees say").

A recent expose’ of the Providence Rhode Island school system is a prime example. Spending almost $18,000 per pupil has resulted in shockingly poor student performance. Obviously, the amount of money spent is not the main problem, as many in the teachers unions would have you believe.

 Charter and private schools are a result of the problem, not the cause. The poor performance of school administrators and teachers in many areas of the country has created a demand for charter and private schools. Poor performance in reading, writing, math and history are a result of the dumbing down created by the liberal establishment. The striving for excellence seen in the past no longer exists in too many school districts. When a 65-year-old speaks with a 16-year-old it soon becomes evident that a discrepancy exists in the educational background of the two diverse ages that has nothing to do with the age discrepancy itself. 

Recently many schools have stopped teaching cursive writing or made it optional. Cursive has now become a foreign language to a significant segment of our young people. Bank and other errors are a result of this mistake.  Writing in cursive improves skills and develops the brain. Students are now being deprived of this opportunity. This is only one example of how public schools are failing our students.  Charter schools in poor neighborhoods produce quality results where the public schools are failing. Teachers should not be protesting Betsy DeVos but instead, their own unions and administrators.

William F. Hineser, DPM


Behind a good education? Good teachers

Knowledge of civics across the country is at an all-time low. Only 26 percent of us can name all three branches of government. Trust in government has plummeted.

Public education is the very foundation of our democracy. An essential part of that education must be the study of civics — learning how our government works and our roles and responsibilities as citizens to ensure it works.

One of those three branches of government is the executive branch, the president. President Trump’s use of his executive powers is costing taxpayers billions. His government shutdown last year is estimated to have cost our economy $11 billion. His tariffs on products we buy from foreign countries could cost us $69 billion annually in higher prices. Those tariffs have devastated foreign markets for farmers and Trump set aside $28 billion of taxpayer dollars to offset losses his tariffs caused. The White House will not say how much his recent 4th of July extravaganza cost taxpayers, but it is expected to be millions for the tanks, flyovers, and heightened security. The National Park Service took $2.5 million in funds designated for park maintenance and improvements to cover added expenses for the event. And, remember, the Trump administration still owes the D.C. government $7 million for his inauguration.

The foundation of a good education is good teachers. Think of the billions being wasted by this president and what we pay our teachers. Wouldn’t we prefer those billions be spent on jobs, infrastructure, improved health care, our veterans, and higher salaries for our teachers? If you agree with the math, you can make a difference. Vote.

Barbara Wolpoff


Marilee Menard


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