Letter to the Editor: Liberals not to blame for education woes

Editor:

As a teacher and a student, I read with great interest the Feb. 18 point/counterpoint discussion aboutfunding issuesand public education (“Finding the best solution for public education problems”).My letter is written in response to the column written by Jasyn Jones. Overall, I found his argument contradictory at best and completelyunfounded at worst.

I was taken aback by the statement that all teachers are only interested in “indoctrinating students in liberal philosophy [and] left-wing propaganda.” I would welcome him to visit my classroom any day of the week, where he will find my students actively engaged in what he terms proven educational methods.In fact, it is my personal experience that teachers don’t have adequate time to meet simple curriculum goals, let alone have time to indoctrinate their students with such concepts as Marxism and moral relativism.

Jones wrote that liberals are foolish to believe that “every problem can be solved by spending money,” but then he closed by pointing out that Republicans-not Democrats-have “more than doubled educational funding” since they gained the majority in 1994.It seems that his view is somewhat hypocritical: Blame the liberals for wanting to increase funding, yet hail the conservatives as heroes when the funding increases actually happen.

Jones also said that liberals are “setting the policies [and] planning curriculum” and suggests that conservatives have somehow been left out of the loop when it comes to the educational reform. Consider this: No Child Left Behind was authored completely by conservatives in the Bush administration without a liberal agenda-setter (or a teacher, I might add) at the table.I wonder how Jones felt when the state Legislature-a historically conservative body-attempted last week to exempt our state from Bush’s attempt at education reform. It seems to me that conservatives aren’t all together sure themselves of the proper solution for the problems facing education.

Oversimplified answers that blame one side of the political aisle are not welcome in a discussion that is as vast and complex as public education.Blaming liberals for all of society’s ills is only taking the easy way out.

Annie Schmutz Skeem

Master’s of Education Candidate