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Letters

  • Overmatched Ritz failing the public
    Education is one of the most important functions of our state government, and yet State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz continues to treat educational policy like it is her own political soapbox.
  • Inconsistent upkeep plagues I-469 stretches
    I see a disparity in the condition of the Interstate 469 bypass from the north/northeast section in comparison to the south/southwest section.
  • Common Core disaster predictable, avoidable
     The debate over Common Core in relation to teaching and learning effectiveness has presented a major distraction for teachers and building leaders.
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Web letter by Cathy Fuentes-Rohwer: Moms see through sham of educational reform

Mothers like me did not vote for Glenda Ritz because we were influenced by teachers or their unions; it wasn’t because we didn’t like Tony Bennett. Many of us had no idea what he was like.

We voted for Ritz because we could see that our children’s communities, their schools, were being torn apart. We voted for Ritz because our children were coming home and crying that they were “bubble kids” (kids in the bubble who almost, but not quite, passed ISTEP+). Test scores were increasingly emphasized in everything written and talked about on education. When the public education budget cuts of 2009 occurred, the pain to my children’s schools was felt by them and the whole community. When the laws and regulations tied test scores to funding (or state takeover), the stress level was palpable. Now we have pep rallies for ISTEP.

Maybe Sen. David Long’s vision is that my children grow up to be phenomenal test-takers. That is not mine. He wants to grade all schools and the children within them based on this one skill. But Ritz ran on the platform of “more teaching” and “less testing,” and that is why so many parents voted for her. Ritz understands through her education and experience that our children are more than a test score. Where Long has supported the idea that one 40-question test (IREAD3) should override the professional opinion of my 9- year-old’s teacher on whether or not he is prepared to go to fourth grade, Ritz wanted to relieve my child and others of that kind of stress.

But this state board, the governor and the legislative majority have stopped at nothing to throw roadblocks in the superintendent’s way. Long continues to defund our schools through vouchers and charters; he speaks of “choice” while stealing my child’s choices: programs like band and art, teacher librarians and class sizes are inevitable casualties of this “competition” for resources.

Long should not continue to fool himself that it’s Ritz somehow orchestrating this. These are the voices of those closest to the victims of your educational “reform.” We are angry. And we vote.

CATHY FUENTES-ROHWER

Bloomington

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