To the Editor:
Universal public education has been at the core of our country's greatness. Now, public education is under attack. While many reform efforts are honest and heartfelt, too often they are developed without classroom teacher input, limited to narrowly based research studies, and result in profit opportunities for large corporations.
Public schools are being blamed for and charged with the responsibility to solve just about every problem in our society. Public schools are the one institution that not only promises to educate every child but also provides them transportation, feeds them (often twice a day), cares for them physically and emotionally, provides a nurturing environment, takes them home after school, and provides enrichment in the evenings and on weekends. We don't turn kids away. And we have been successful at this task for a long time.
There is an increasing effort in this country to undermine people's perception of the effectiveness of public schools. This movement to "dis" our schools has led to legislative "reforms" that hurt rather than help our effectiveness. To better help our students, teachers and school communities, we must support this core institution of our great country.
Retired Teachers for Smart and Sane Education
Joette Weber, Christine McVicar, Meg Toomey, Judith Maule, Joyce Hanenberg, Mary Costello, Charlotte Newman, Mary Lou Bernard, Kathy Berry and Betty Mason