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Temanson has suggestion for U.S. school system to improve

Posted: Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Dear Editor:

In general, members of a School Board have accepted the charge of making the decisions that govern the operations of a school. Seldom do any of these members of the School Board have any formal teacher training. School Board members are local residents who are elected by the members of the community and then go ahead to make local education decisions. Seldom do School Board Members spend time at a school observing the effects of their educational decisions.

Up until the 1950s, the control and management within education was carried out by the teacher. During that time, the American studentsí educational scores were among the highest in the world. Then teachersí unions started asking for an increase in teachersí salaries. At this point, the teachers began to be looked upon as a cost item in the school budget and then as an enemy of the School Board. Administrators, acting on behalf of the School Board, began requiring teachers to do hours and hours of meaningless paper work as an attempt to punish teacher for increases in their salaries.

Teachers became accountable for the decisions made by the School Board. To further the pressure on teachers, they began to be expected to fill the role of councelor, psychologist, disciplinarian, public relations, etc., as well as that of a teacher.

I taught school in Poland for 15 years. In Poland, when a teacher finds it necessary to speak to a student two times in a given year regarding that studentís behavior or completing their school lessons, the student is removed from school for the following one-year period. The student then becomes a problem for the parent and is no longer a problem for the teacher or other students in the educational system. As a result, discipline is not a topic to which the school system concerns itself.

Many small schools have opened in order to offer a better education to the students of parents who understand much of what I have said. If American education is to improve, simply move the School Board back to the position it held prior to WWII and put the teacher back in charge of the classrooms and education. If this is not done, educational scores in America will remain in 53rd place in the world or go even further down.

Jerry Temanson

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