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Monday, May 30, 2016
Parents are finding out that teachers are not villains
(Page 3 of 4)
Howard Schwach

The PDK/Gallup poll, analysts say, shows that Americans on the whole are becoming skeptical about the connection between teachers and failing schools, suggesting instead that schools need more resources to succeed. Seventy percent of respondents – the highest percentage ever recorded in the 45-year-old poll – oppose using taxpayer money to fund “vouchers” for private schools.

“Americans continue to identify lack of financial support as the biggest problem facing public schools, while increased testing and regulation emerged as other top concerns Americans have about schools,” Bill Bushaw, executive director of PDK International, said during a press call Tuesday.

Education groups pounced on the poll results, pointing to a finding that only 25 percent of respondents believe increased testing has helped make American schools better. At the same time, 72 percent of respondents say they trust the men and women who are “teaching children in the public schools.”

If it’s not the teachers who are at fault, who then?

There are two answers. The first answer regards the rising cost of funding school programs. The villain of the piece there is Wall Street and the greedy traders who made billions of dollars selling worthless mortgages, all the time knowing that they would make billions more betting that those mortgages would fail. Now that the economy is coming back, those pension costs to the districts will go down and there will be peace in the valley once more.

The second question, whose fault is the dropping test scores and the feeling that students are not getting a proper education for later life?


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Who's at fault for failing schools? We are. All the residents of Long Island and across the nation who segregate our children into districts of "haves/have nots" and minority/white. Look at the schools that are failing and are always at the bottom of educational performance lists. They are always schools that are largely minority and/or consist of a largely lower socio-economic population. Let's not fool ourselves into believing that educational reform initiatives such as common core are anything but a waste of taxpayer dollars. Want to improve education? First, let's not compare minority children in crime-ridden, poor, neighborhoods to privileged children from middle class neighborhoods. The educations they're receiving are impacted by a lot more than curriculum. Secondly, demand to dissolve the segregated districts on Long Island. Have kids from Garden City and Jericho sit in classes alongside kids from Roosevelt and Hempstead.

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