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New movie 'Won't Back Down' makes the case for education reform

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  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    Oct. 1, 2012 8:07 p.m.

    @the truth,

    The parents are not teachers' bosses any more than a tuition-paying college student is his professor's boss. (Who do you know who has 25 to 250 bosses, anyway?) If you want to boss your child's teacher around, hire a full-time private tutor. The rest of us would be wise to build a productive partnership with our children's teachers.

    As far as your claims about curriculum are concerned, I don't know what your children are being taught at school; mine are learning reading, writing, math, and science. If you feel that an aspect of your child's education is being neglected, you, as the parent, can take action. However, if you feel that you personally should get to set the curriculum for all the students at the school, life is going to be a very unpleasant experience for you.

    As far as local communities doing the hiring, your local community elects a school board, who hires the superintendent. The superintendent hires principals, who hire teachers and staff. That's as local as it ought to be. You do not get to personally hand-pick every civil servant out there. Sorry.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Sept. 29, 2012 2:45 p.m.

    @On the other hand

    No they should not be partners,

    The parents are the bosses,
    and the teachers are the employees.

    The teachers serve the parents and communities that employ them.

    Government involvement has forced itself in and replaced the parents and unions have replaced the teachers.

    So not only is relationship wrong we have the wrong relationship.

    Not only that, we have the liberalization of education where the basics are no longer the focus but time is now being spent teaching anything from sex education to pop liberal science and from cake decorating to diversity indoctrination from feel good math techniques to accepting bad grammar, and achievement and merit is looked down upon, no competition, no failing, etc.

    On top of that, we have local environments and cultures that do not value education. anymore becoming pervasive, often because their cultural leaders are telling them they have no hope.

    Local community leaders doing the hiring, and restoring proper parent teacher relationships is just a start, where parent recognize the teacher is the boss of the classroom not the child and giving teachers more disciplinarian control over their classrooms.

  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    Sept. 28, 2012 6:40 p.m.

    There's potential for tremendous harm in promoting a "teachers vs. parents" mentality, as this film appears to do. Parents and teachers should be partners, not adversaries. My children have never had a teacher or principal who wasn't happy to sit down with me, listen to my concerns, and explore possible solutions. There may be teachers out there who are lazy, apathetic union leaches, but the vast majority of teachers don't fall into that category. On the other hand, I think there are a fair number of lazy, apathetic parents who don't put a whole lot into the parent-teacher relationship (or the parent-student relationship) yet expect the teacher to magically turn their child into a bright, hard-working scholar. I don't expect those parents to be able to take over and run a school.

  • ManInTheMiddle SANDY, UT
    Sept. 26, 2012 10:13 a.m.

    Howard -
    Another misread - I never said I wasn't qualified to teach - when did I say that - perhaps we need new reading comprehension / logical fallacy teachers in the state.

    If I were put in charge the first thing I would do is fire 10% of teachers and 20% of administrators. I would replace each fired teacher with 1.5 new teachers. I would not replace the administrators.

    I would pay all teachers more (especially math and science teachers and new hires).

    The next year I would reevaluate - perhaps cutting another 10% of teachers would be wise - perhaps a 5% cut would be wise - but certainly significant cuts would be made. I would hire enough teachers to get class size down to 20 students for k-6 classes. I would raise my property taxes to pay for it.

    We all know there are some extraordinarily unfit teachers/administrators in the system. We made a huge mistake in entrusting them to teach our kids. We should recognize our mistake and correct it quickly.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 26, 2012 7:45 a.m.

    To all the teacher critics most of whom love the Romney's why not take Ann's advice and apply it to teaching school "Stop it. this is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring".

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Sept. 25, 2012 11:53 p.m.

    ManInTheMiddle:

    Who are the right adults? Is the state and districts going to pony up to hire better individuals? And besides most hiring committees have parents on them? Maybe if it was left up to teachers, maybe there would be better adults teaching? I'm curious on what your thinking is on this issue. I think you're so out to lunch on this one I don't even know where to start--if you aren't qualified to teach maybe you're equally non-qualified to speak on the matter on any level...

  • ManInTheMiddle SANDY, UT
    Sept. 25, 2012 10:29 p.m.

    SS
    Your argument is a straw man argument. I never said I was qualified to teach, I simply said that we hire the wrong adults. Attack my claim, don't make up some fake claim.

    I'll make the claim again -- Our schools are bad because we hire the wrong adults.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Sept. 25, 2012 7:46 p.m.

    Red Headed Stranger:

    Don't take my comments too personally but teachers across America are asked to do more than teach curriculum. Many students come to school emotionally, physically and sexually abused. Many come after being up all night doing God knows what. Many are abusing drugs and alcohol. Too many are being shuffled around from parent to parent in joint custodial arrangements. Too many don't even live with either of the birth parents but live with grand parents and foster parents. Too many cheat in school because they say it is okay. Too many show no respect for teachers because their parents have no respect for teachers and other adult leaders in the school. I didn't even mentioned that scores of students don't even understand English.

    You came down hard on teachers. While I applaud your efforts of you and your wife to involve yourself, your attitude might still be effecting your children and how the perceive teachers. I have had my own children in public, private and charter schools. The teachers in each environment I felt were doing the best they could. Each school had its advantages. But about every teacher was giving their all.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Sept. 25, 2012 6:32 p.m.

    Hmmm... I wonder how much certain people spend at work transitioning from one task to another.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Sept. 25, 2012 12:55 p.m.

    In reading the comments here, the solution is simple. Pull your kids from public schools.

    They don't serve the kids very well. The kids at the school where my children went were going into 5th grade without knowing the multiplication tables up to 12x12.

    If you look at the cirriculum at most schools, it reads like a padded resume. There is a lot of stuff in there, but most of it gets so little attention that they never master anything.

    The other problem (my relatives who are teacher tell me) is that in elementary school teachers spend half their time transitioning from one activity to another. Half their day is wasted between subjects.

    Again, why should we subject our kids to this? Why do we expect our kids to succeed when they are taught in institutions that are designed for failure?

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 25, 2012 10:46 a.m.

    It is amazing that so many on this board think that something magic can occur in a school. They think that teachers can magically create learning for every single student regardless of their ability, their motivation, their parental support, their living conditions. They also think that if that kids is on the rolls they should be learning whether they attend regularly or not, whether they put forth an effort or not. If those students are not learning whose to blame, not the administrator, not the parent, not the student, its the teacher and or the union, which only about 60% of the teachers even belong to anyway.

    We have become a society that blames everyone else for problems and accepts no responsibility. Teachers and teachers unions have become the easy target. If we are truly interested in what leads to good education, it is parents, students teachers and administrators working together. It is not about parents telling teachers how to teach (red headed stranger) and throwing a fit if they don't agree with you regardless of what research you may think you have. It is not about finger pointing, it is about accountability for ALL stake holders.

  • Red Headed Stranger Billy Bobs, TX
    Sept. 25, 2012 6:37 a.m.

    Howard Beal,

    I do ALL of the things that you mention. (Although I resent the "stop abusing" phrase, I never have abused my son.) My wife attended all conferences and I left work to attend 90% of them. My wife accompanied my son to 11 of 13 field trips. The school district says that they want you involved, but when you do you quickly realize that when they want you to put papers in folders, not assist in teaching and observe. Even when you come with prepared with evidence and studies that the curricula they use doesn't work the school district employees blow you off.

    The principal at my son's new charter school said after we talked about the math curricula at the public school said, "Oh now it makes sense why none of the kids who come here don't understand how to multiply or do fractions."

    As a taxpayer, voter, citizen and daddy who is deeply concerned about the future of the Republic, I will continue to criticize and will not hold back.

  • SS MiddleofNowhere, Utah
    Sept. 25, 2012 6:31 a.m.

    @ ManInTheMiddle,
    Since you are so fast to cast stones at educators, why don't you do the job yourself . . . since you are so qualified?

  • Indi135 162 S Marble Canyon Dr., UT
    Sept. 25, 2012 6:02 a.m.

    My father is a teacher, and not a member of a Union, because when he needed them they didn't protect him. A much bigger issue, is that as a teacher he has found little support from parents, administration, and even other teachers. My dad is a good teacher, and his students scores on national exams reflect that. But that is why his job is really difficult. Parents yelling at him for issuing homework when they had 'plans' with their children, the administration pressuring him to hand out grades for the sake of sports programs, the students smirking in satisfaction knowing that he can't do anything to make them work or study because HE (not them) is responsible if they fail, should you have to combat everyone to do your job? Our culture has abandoned our students. We all need to give more.

    What if those parents spent as much effort supporting their child's education as they did fighting it? Parents CAN make that difference, they don't even need the school, it is a resource and was never meant to take their place. If your child's education is substandard, YOU improve it. Take some personal responsibility.

  • one day... South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 11:20 p.m.

    Simple....instead of giving the money to the union (or the school, which is the same)give the money to the children or kid, so the kid and parents can choose where they want to go for school, that will increase quality, competition and at the end of the day if one school don't offer good education and teacher they won't get any money! no more unions and lemon teachers!!!

  • ManInTheMiddle SANDY, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 10:58 p.m.

    Our education system is terrible in Utah because we hire the wrong adults. End of story.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 10:54 p.m.

    Let me ask all you anti-union, anti-teacher folks a question.

    How many districts in Utah actually have tenure?

    How many districts do not have an agreed-to plan to discipline, train, and eliminate ineffective teachers?

    I'll wait for your answers. The answer to both rhymes with zero.

    The problem with ineffective teachers is INEFFECTIVE LEADERS who are too afraid to punish those who don't do their jobs. The rules are in place, they have been agreed to by both the teacher's organization and the districts. If leaders won't follow their agreed-to discipline plans, why is that the teacher's fault? Principals are not hired on their leadership abilities, but by the their "friendship" abilities and their management skills. Leadership and management are NOT the same thing.

    LEADERSHIP, LEADERSHIP, LEADERSHIP is the answer to these problems!

  • Aggie84 Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 24, 2012 9:20 p.m.

    As a former Federal Programs Coordinator, Districts are spending millions of dollars on students who do not speak english. Then add technology costs that have been introduced over the past 25 years. Then add the cost of insurance which is paid to employees. You will see a significant cost increase to education. I personally have seen a reduction in pay for the past 5 years. Don't believe for a minute that teachers are getting the lions share of the cost of education. Millions are spent to teach non-english speakers to speak english and then they get the jobs because they have dual language.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 9:10 p.m.

    I think teachers would like more parents to:

    --attend parent-teacher conferences and monitor their children's grades better.
    --make sure their children come to school properly clothed, fed and rested.
    --do more to keep children from using alcohol, drugs, engaging in pre-marital sex and other harmful behavior.
    --stop abusing their children in any way (physically, emotionally and sexually).
    --do more to save their marriages because study after study says divorce is hard on children and what is hard on children is hard on their education too.
    --make sure their students know how to read BEFORE they enter school.
    --take their children out of public school if they feel the system is this bad. Their negative attitude toward the school and teachers permeates through their children in their work ethic, respect for teachers and other adult authority figures in the school. Many do take their children out of school and I can live with it. Stop complaining and either get more involved to make it better or use that option as PLENTY of options exists including home school (See Killpack above).
    --better instill honesty in their children as cheating is rampant in the schools. It starts with parenting.

  • Peter R Provo, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 9:10 p.m.

    A lot of educational problems actually have little to do with instruction and a lot to do with social persuasions. The space race prompted many in the U.S. to want to become nuclear physicists, rocket scientists, and so forth. In many countries, doing well in math and science is a way out of poverty and up the social ladder. What we value as a country makes a big difference in what people want to do with their lives and in what we place value individually.

    Just consider the following. When someone says, "I can't do math," what is the common response? (usually, it's some sort of agreement, or "me too" response). When someone says, "I can't read," what's the reaction? One is socially acceptable and the other is not. As a society, we're increasingly accepting that it's O.K. to not know how to "do math." That is where we need to start. Change that and we're truly on our way to improving our math and science scores.

  • Peter R Provo, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 9:07 p.m.

    The point is well taken, though, that our current reforms are not doing anything. For those blaming the teachers' unions, I'm all against big union abuses and such, but let's be honest; very little of the problem likely has to do with unions. In 1984, Benjamin Bloom conducted a meta-meta analysis and found a pretty large effect size for parental involvement. However, he also found a good effect size for teacher training, which is a lot easier to accomplish than trying to get parents to spend time tutoring their children and is something the schools have control over.

  • Reader81 SLC, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 9:05 p.m.

    I currently teach in an elementary school. I spend about 10-12 hours a day working on classroom preparation, grading, and conversing with parents. It is so frustrating to see a movie made that makes teachers look apathetic. The teachers I work with devote great amounts of time, and often their own health, to helping our students. Yes, I am a member of a union, because, forbid it ever be needed, I know that I will receive due process. No, not because it guarantees my job. If one is a poor teacher, one shouldn't teach. I have never seen my union keep a poor teacher.

  • Peter R Provo, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 9:04 p.m.

    2009 was also the first year that Shanghai, China participated, which is where the Chinese send all their smartest students. Needless to say, they blew everyone out of the water and are in a class all their own, statistically. A country-wide comparison is somewhat difficult because that's the only part of mainland China that participated in the exams. However, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau, all Chinese-speaking governments (two of which are now officially part of the PRC, have participated in prior exams and have consistently performed well.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 9:01 p.m.

    SS's comments are on the money. If someone really wants to learn they will move heaven and earth to learn it. Come into any high school in our state and you will see this played out, both positively and negatively, by students. With that said, as an educator I will also call out my colleagues to teach. To not accept excuses. To be role models for our students in how we dress and how we behave. Take away your student's excuses by doing everything possible to make certain that any excuse is just a lie. Call parents and say "I want to teach your student but they have to show up ready to learn. Will you help me do just that?" And then do the job. No excuses either. Do the job.

  • Peter R Provo, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 9:01 p.m.

    The article is somewhat misleading in representing the U.S.'s performance on the PISA. The article quite clearly makes it sound as if the U.S. is declining in each of these areas when, in reality, the average scores have remained statistically the same, for the most part. In math, the U.S. avg. was 483 in 2003, 474 in 2006, and 487 in 2009. For science, the U.S. was at 491 in 2003, 489 in 2006, and 501 in 2009. Criterion-wise, there's been a slight improvement in 2009 over 2006, but we're statistically pretty much where we were in 2003.

    The reason there are more countries ahead of us now than in 2003 is because more countries are now participating in PISA. The countries that have participated from the beginning have been relatively stable in their rankings (Canada is consistently ranked in the top 10, so go north if you want a better education).

  • SS MiddleofNowhere, Utah
    Sept. 24, 2012 8:16 p.m.

    How will blaming the teachers or the system help your student? When you baby your student and tell them its not their fault and that they don't have any accountability for their education what will happen in the long run? What will happen when they have a bad professor in college (there are also plenty of those)? Will you then go and blame the professor for your student not getting a quality education? What happens when he has a bad employer? Will you blame the employer and government for your child not succeeding? Come on! When does the passing of blame stop? When will we start to teach accountability to children instead of entitlement? You can learn and succeed despite other people.

  • Seek to understand Sandy, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 7:56 p.m.

    If a school can teach students to do math - even students who are poor, minority and ESL, whose parents can't re-teach at home, then ALL schools could do the same and must be held accountable to that standard.

    Blaming the parents is irrational and finally starting to backfire.

    Squirt - of course the parent triggers have failed so far. Every civil rights initiative had many, many failures until enough people woke up and realized what the issues were and joined together to form a powerful coalition. This is happening now, and it is very exciting.

    Parents MUST step up and join this effort to free children from mandatory attendance at government schools that are failing to teach them.

    And even if your school is not failing, you owe it to your neighbors and to our country to support those citizens whose children are trapped in a failing school. This is the most important civil rights issue of our time, and it will eventually be remedied. Hopefully before too many more thousands of our children are casualties of a broken system.

  • Red Headed Stranger Billy Bobs, TX
    Sept. 24, 2012 7:54 p.m.

    Soccer Coach,

    How to improve your teaching? First of all, stay on topic. I don't know why you are talking about your daughter, but this sounds like malpractice to me.

    As for recommendations for improving your teaching I will give real life examples from interactions with my son's teachers, principal and school district:

    - Don't ever say "I don't want parents to observe me in my classroom"

    - If I tell you that Johnny is bullying my son, please do not put Johnny in the seat next to my son.

    - If you write me a note, use complete coherent sentences with both prepositions and articles so I know that you actually passed college courses.

    - Please assign lots of relevant homework. Multiplication tables, good. Word Search, bad.

    - If my son has to go to the bathroom, then HE HAS TO GO TO THE BATHROOM. He has a little child-sized bladder.

    - If you make it to the School district administration, do not haughtily dismiss my views on curricula if I have more education in the topic then you have and come with Department of Education research to back up my claim.

    Hope this helps.

  • SS MiddleofNowhere, Utah
    Sept. 24, 2012 7:49 p.m.

    I think parents would be astonished and enlightened to find out that the REAL reason their students "aren't learning anything" is because of the fact that students aren't trying to learn anything. Unless you have a genuine mental disorder you have to TRY to fail high school. Yes, it may take effort to succeed for some more than others, but if you come to school everyday, do the work, and seek for extra help if you need it, you will succeed. It comes easier to some more than others, that's life and it will happen in future jobs. Those who try harder will succeed. People (parents in particular) are just looking for someone else to blame. You can't make someone learn, when it comes down to it, they have to want to. All this talk about blaming teachers and making all schools private won't fix a thing. But keep talking, maybe if you talked a little more to your kids about the homework they need to do before playing video games or going out it would actually do something.

  • soccer coach Taylorsville, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 7:28 p.m.

    I am a high school teacher. My struggle is everyone continues to tell me that I am doing a horrible job at educating students. All I want to know is what would you like me to do to fix it? I hear complaints all the time but no suggestions on what to do to fix it. Let's complain about doctor's office visits. If I am 5 minutes late for my appointment it is cancelled and I must pay $25, but if I am on time and then wait 45 minutes to be seen nothing happens. My daughter recently had her appendix burst. We had 5 different doctors tell us that it was her appendix and it needed to be removed but when the surgeon opened her up he was shocked that it had burst. Maybe it was the 5 doctors and 7 nurses who pushed on her stomach that popped it. I am now paying bills to these 5 different doctors. Lets begin to attack them for not getting the diagnose correct in a timely manner. Back to teaching, tell me what to and I will fix it. I do want my students to learn.

  • Red Headed Stranger Billy Bobs, TX
    Sept. 24, 2012 7:27 p.m.

    We took our son out of his elementary school and put him in a charter school. We couldn't be happier. The public school uses "Math Investigations" which is the so called "new math". It was terrible. Students weren't being taught time tables, fractions in a meaningful way, or the "standard algorithm" for adding numbers. So instead of adding numbers like this:

    345
    + 238
    ------

    They were adding numbers like this

    345 + 238 =

    And drawing arrows between the hundreds places and so on. So the kids had to come up with their own "way to solve problems".

    After arguing with the teacher, the principal, and the elementary math coordinator (I was a physics major and my wife teaches Calculus at the local community college), we moved him to a charter school and have encouraged other parents to do the same. We've spent many summer hours correcting the harm the public school teachers have done.

    Abolish teachers unions. Give hiring and firing authority to principals as well as authority of curricula. Above all, parent should take control over their children's education, for the schools surely won't.

  • kimnprovo Orem, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 7:04 p.m.

    - Really??? - It might also be that in five years in the same elementary school she had five teachers each teaching a different way to learn math. There was no consistency even though they were all supposedly teaching the same methods.

    If educators were actually held responsible because their unions didn't protect them, then we could certainly eliminate that as a reason. I will agree that some children are lazy and their parents aren't pushing them to do their "jobs", but there is so much more to the problem.

    Step one, privatize!

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 6:59 p.m.

    Every teacher in a private school is awesome. And I'm also married to Morgan Fairchild...yeah, that's right.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 6:38 p.m.

    Oh, I have so many issues with the comment that claims that schools don't know why 25-30% of students don't master math. The reality is that schools know why, but the parents don't want to hear the truth. We have a society who likes to blame everyone except for the person who has the highest stake in education--the student.

    Parents don't want to hear that little Dylan isn't doing his classwork, so it must be the teacher's fault he's failing. It's not that Cynthia isn't turning in her homework, the teacher is just too lazy to grade it or loses it. It doesn't matter that John hasn't mastered the requirements for first grade, we'll move him up to second grade anyway--it's called social promotion--and hope that he catches up next year. We are allowing students to fail and fall further behind by not holding them accountable. That's where the real educational reform needs to take place.Fail a student who doesn't perform and let him suffer the consequences. Things will change quickly.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 6:21 p.m.

    As is true in so many controversial subjects in this nation, there is so much outright fiction floating around that no one what the truth really is.

    But inflammatory movies and other things like this only fan the flames of misinformation and make it tougher to find good solutions.

    We need to be very careful which "facts" we accept and which we don't.

  • squirt Taylorsville, ut
    Sept. 24, 2012 5:59 p.m.

    Continuation of remarks:

    Parents are the first and lifelong teachers of their children. Genuine parental engagement produces long-term relationships, connects the school community to the larger community, and creates structures for becoming involved in a child’s education. Parent reinforcement can advance a child’s ability to achieve academic and social success and diminish behavioral problems.
    Education excellence is everyone’s responsibility. Schools are like ecosystems-all of their many parts support one another and are critical to success. A longitudinal study out of the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research identified five essential, inter-related elements of school transformation: leadership, professional capacity, academic content/instructional guidance, student-centered learning climate, and parent-school-community ties.

  • squirt Taylorsville, ut
    Sept. 24, 2012 5:57 p.m.

    ‘Parent trigger’ has 100% failure rate, has pitted parents against parents and torn apart school communities where it has been tried. The first ‘parent trigger’ attempt took place in Compton, California in 2010 and is the supposed basis for this movie.Contrary to the movie portrayal of a parent-led group who later contacts an outside organizer for support, Compton was entirely organized by outside operators. According to Caroline Grannan, founding member of Parents Across America, “Parent Revolution, the billionaire-funded California operation that created the ‘parent trigger’ law, looked around for a school to target, chose Compton’s McKinley Elementary, and pre-selected a charter school operator to take it over.”
    Caroline goes on to add, “Paid Parent Revolution employees went door-to-door in Compton with petitions. This was the first time parents had heard of this takeover. Hundreds turned out to a school board meeting to oppose the charter takeover.” According to Caroline, parents protested that they had been misled into signing the petition and they did not want their school to become a charter.

  • kimnprovo Orem, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 5:30 p.m.

    The real problem with the public education system is the teacher's union(s). When you have a union protecting its members from being terminated for not actually teaching, that is a HUGE problem from where I see it!

  • Seek to understand Sandy, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 4:22 p.m.

    Of course it is true parents should help with homework and feed their children. In Utah, most do.

    The problem is MUCH bigger than something that can be fixed by parents doing more. Parents doing all they can CANNOT make up for a 3rd grade teacher who fails to teach a student to mastery. Parents doing all they can CANNOT make up for a school that doesn't know why 25-30% of its students don't make mastery in math (this is the majority of public schools in Utah) and therefore don't fix it (meaning next year's 3rd graders are going to lose a year also). Parents doing all they can CANNOT make up for a year lost with a teacher who is suffering from personal issues - be they health-related, family, or whatever.

    Public schools simply do not have the ability to respond to student needs as their primary focus. A teacher at a private school will not likely remain in their position if they are unable to teach, for whatever reason.

    Parents MUST be placed in a position of determining where their education dollars will be spent.

  • Californian Santa Ana, CA
    Sept. 24, 2012 4:07 p.m.

    I am a retired secondary teacher. I concur that teacher unions and tenure make it too easy for some teachers to become lazy or be retained when they are not performing. However, everyone should use the same mantra I did regarding their children's education: My child's education is my responsibility and the public school is only one of the resources.
    The truth is that schools can present and "teach" but the real work goes on in the home. Children need to be taught to desire to learn. They need to come to school ready to learn...with materials and full tummies. Parents need to help EVERY NIGHT with homework..and that means junior high and high school too. If you can't do it yourself, find someone who will. You must keep on top of it.

  • killpack Sandy, UT
    Sept. 24, 2012 3:04 p.m.

    It's about time Americans everywhere, not just in the lower income neighborhoods, free themselves of the corrupt public education unions. What better way to do that than to take your kids out of the public education system altogether. Even if you can't afford a private school, what's the worst that could happen. Your kid sits at home on his behind doing nothing? It isn't like they learn anything in public schools anyway, is it? At least they don't learn enough to justify the outrageous costs. Kids are wasting far too much time in inefficient, ineffective public schools. It's time to take them out. If you can't afford a private school for them, have them get a job. They would learn practical skills that will actually benefit them. As they make money working, enroll them in classes here and there. Quality classes, even college classes. It's time we stop letting the teacher unions hold us all hostage. I mean, do we all want to end up like Chicago?