Letter: A 60-year perspective on public education
I’m deeply concerned about what’s happening in our valley regarding school board elections. Education is an American value and our secular public school system is designed to serve students of every race, creed, need and color. However, there is a move to super-impose religious and other personal values over education as the primary value of our public school system. Conservatives are using children as pawns in a political battle, cloaking their true goals behind a “For the Kids” slogan to further their own social/political/religious ideology. The children are the ones who will lose.
At the recent candidates forum, I felt like I was being thrown back into the 1960s when I heard the conservative candidates repeat over and over that we need to focus on the Three Rs — Reading, Writing, Arithmetic. The fact that two of those subjects don’t even start with an ‘R’ reveals just how antiquated this educational philosophy is.
In the past 60 years, our education system has soared with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math); advanced equity for girls and minorities; diversified learning styles and content for our changing population; advanced special education that is respectful. In the “Three Rs” classrooms I experienced growing up, special ed meant these labeled students sat in a tall, three-sided box open only to the blackboard. The candidate forum made it clear that the five conservative candidates will guide us backward in this direction.
I’m thrilled that several of our current school board members are running for re-election. They have worked hard for our children, our teachers; expanded technology and adapted curriculum through unprecedented challenges. They’ve kept students in school and teachers and the community safer through masking requirements. Let’s keep school about school and not warp it with other political agendas.
The Vote Smart Five have my support: Kelly Alter, Lelia Conlin, Juan Peña, Michelle Stecher and Dan Reynolds.