In her letter (“Effective education,” Aug. 24), Lara Evans says public educators "have led us down a path of curriculum deficiency." I have been a public educator for 22 years. My colleagues and I believe in the value of teaching a curriculum rich in diverse areas of learning such as that to which Evans refers. We used to have time to teach enriching things like poetry, the arts, and handwriting.

It was not our choice to eliminate these things from classrooms, and we are tired of being the scapegoats for poor educational practice decisions. So much of how we use class time and what we teach is dictated to us from outside sources who have no practical experience in educational theory, child development or the reality of Utah classrooms.

Veteran teachers know very well what valuable elements of learning are missing in today's education, but we are powerless to fight it in view of the threat of lower evaluation scores and penalties if we are not complying with policies we didn't make. Put the blame for education reform where it belongs, not on the backs of the teachers in the trenches who are trying to do their best in difficult circumstances.

Karen Longmore