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Opinion

Thu., Dec. 22, 2011

Teachers get no respect

’Tis the season to take your frustrations out on educators! It’s been that season awhile. Well-funded groups like Stand for Children and League of Education Voters attack educators in Washington as if they have a better plan.

Websites suggest getting rid of seniority as a determiner of who is let go during economic downturns. However, research states it is the experienced classroom teachers who produce the best learners.

Choosing young, energetic teachers in favor of older ones sounds good, but it is actually best for the students to have a mix of experience within schools. Attacking the teachers unions as blockers of education reform is common, yet students in states with strong unions continue to outperform states without strong unions.

Could it be that having a say in your professional life is good for students as well?

Washington has, for nine consecutive years, the highest SAT scores in the country. Despite lack of funding, hard-working public school educators have produced better results than all other states. One wonders what results we could achieve if educators had real support from the Legislature, education funding to level the playing field in poverty districts, and the respect their work and results deserve.

Bev Schaefer

Spokane



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