FREE OUR TEACHERS by Michelle Darnell, Kirkland Washington
Free our teachers, I declare on this Teachers Appreciation Week. I would like teachers to be free to educate our kids with passion, dedication and creativity while enjoying professionalism and compensation that they deserve. Our current education system is not serving teachers or students well and we need to change that.
When I was a stay home mom, my four children had many great teachers in both public and private schools. I recall that the teachers in public schools spoke of their limitations. As soon as the afternoon bell rung they left because apparently this was a labor union rule, for example.
In today’s education system teachers do not like the new math or the standardized testing. We called this the WASL back then. Nowadays, teachers have no choice and are forced to use valuable class time to teach to the test. I tried to answer some of the questions once and felt the test itself was absurd. It is possible that some teachers have far outlasted their passion and are difficult to replace. I recall seeing one of my teachers sleeping at his desk after handing out work to the class just to occupy our time. He should have retired.
Currently, teachers are not being paid what they deserve while scarce resources are being absorbed by bloated administrations. Class size balloons and taxes are raised to compensate, while funds are misapplied. We spend $14,000 federal/state and local to educate one child for one year and yet one out of 4 kids in our state can’t make the grades to graduate.
This is the result of a broken system and lack of leadership in Olympia. We need leaders who can make bold decisions to reform education; not just demand for more money from taxpayers but initiate and pass reforms to improve education for our teachers and kids.
“It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders….”. Our Supreme Court was right to say our legislators are failing our kids and teachers. The failure goes well beyond funding and frankly, if the legislators did what was right, the funding would take care of it self. If our kids were receiving quality education with the tax dollars we are paying, I doubt there would be such a resistance. The problem seems to be that the money is being wasted on an inefficient and failing education system.
Excellent education should not be restricted to children of wealthy families. Charters, vouchers and other creative ideas will free up education, improve outcomes, decrease class sizes, bring down the cost and help teachers be paid what they deserve.
Hug a teacher, BE the change and support choice in education!
About the Author - Michelle Darnell is candidate for WA State Rep. 48th Legislative District Libertarian Position 2, in this 2016 Election. She is a mother of four and works as a defense paralegal in Kirkland, Washington. Visit and support www.michelleforthehouse.com