I was happy to see Karen Screnar’s letter in the Nov. 17 Reader’s Alley, as she addressed a topic that I’ve been concerned about for years. She began with reference to the movie “Waiting for Superman,” which I haven’t seen yet but I intend to. Her focus was on the importance of charter schools and that we should not be missing out on this or any other options.
I was reminded of an article I had read in the Independent Record where those affiliated with the education system in some degree had viewed this movie and then presented their feedback. What came through in the article was that these alleged educators were feeling threatened and bullied by what the movie said of their methods on many fronts. No one likes being attacked; still, suspicion is aroused as the article seems biased in favor of education affiliates and limited to their viewpoint alone. It seems curious that there
hasn’t been a lot of coverage of any opposing viewpoint. (Maybe I missed it!)
For education or the Independent Record to not survey and publicize the views of students, parents, or even the average taxpayer is to cast a shadow on their own intent. My instincts tell me that those who aren’t dependent on school district salaries and funding, or in fact have a hand in providing said funding (willingly or not) would voice a whole different outlook should anyone ask. Therein lies a lot of the problem, teachers and administrators don’t like anyone questioning their methods or finding fault with the results.
I’ve run into this roadblock personally while voicing concerns only to be waylaid by a barrage of defense mechanisms. One such defense was, being repeatedly told that my child is not the only one in their school. (Here I thought it was our school!) The next comment was to enlighten me that they have over 900 students in that particular middle school. I won’t name names, but my reply was less than cordial as I pointed out that it seemed like 900 students was about 500 more than they could handle and it was blatantly obvious. You can no doubt imagine what a cheery response I got to that.
I could go on indefinitely citing examples of how educators (I use the term loosely) talk down to us commoners. It’s enough to say that like the need for charter schools as an option, we also need an “even playing field” in terms of information about what really takes place in schools. We need something other than a one-sided opinion poll and dissertation concerning the “Waiting for Superman” movie or any other comment describing this important topic. As for the opinions expressed by education affiliations, methinks they doth protest too much!
Steven E. Albrecht lives in Helena.