Schools superintendent's faulty assumption about teachers
Regarding “Plans to improve schools due to state March 29” (News, Feb. 24): I take exception with state schools Superintendent Janet Barresi's remarks that parent and community involvement produce better performing educators. Community and parental involvement is truly needed. What isn't needed is action based upon faulty assumptions — that the professionalism of the educator is dependent upon the parents or the community. Professionals are professionals because that's who they are.
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Having been married to a professional educator for more than a quarter of a century, I can attest that her professionalism, dedication and desire to equip every student for success come from within and not from the external circumstances. She's taught in public and private schools in many states. Sometimes parental and community support was beyond expectations. Other times it was pitiful. Neither condition changed her professionalism.
One thing every leader must learn is that if the premise is false, everything put forth thereafter may be proven true — even the most absurd concepts. It's time to verify some assumptions. The first of which is that the professionalism of our teachers is based upon any external set of circumstances: Not true.
Our superintendent is walking the path of the ancient Pharisees. They placed burdens on the backs of people when they were supposed to be shepherding them. It's time for self-assessment at the top before capriciously implementing widespread changes.
Thomas R. Spence, Burns Flat
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