Free Press editorial insults teachers

Published 9:05 am Friday, April 30, 2010

This letter is in response to the April 27 editorial in the Albert Lea Tribune from the Mankato Free Press. The Free Press attacks teachers and their union because both question the fundamentals of “race to the top.” The Free Press supports “alternative pathways” and “nontraditional” change thus allowing the unqualified to teach our children. How about alternate pathways for airline pilots, road and bridge engineers, heart surgeons, electricians, CPAs, whereby all you need to show is that you are smart plus you just completed a six-week training course? That combination should get you ready to fly a jumbo jet, build a bridge over the Mississippi River, do open heart surgery, set up the electrical components for an office tower, and do all the tax and accounting work for any business you can imagine?

It is ludicrous to believe that you can basically walk off the street after a few weeks of training and teach our children. It is also a gross insult to teachers everywhere.

The Free Press also stresses accountability. They seem to recognize the problem that class size and training for experienced teachers is key but a fantasy to achieve. Teachers, in truth, have the foundation of firsthand knowledge in the classroom to critically think it through and present the best answers. In support of those answers, former Republican Party Gov. Arne Carlson recommends, that in difficult times we raise taxes to meet the needs of children. Trust and listen to the teachers and their union for the answers. Just like you would trust airline pilots, engineers, doctors, electricians, and accountants for the best answers coming from their professions.

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Ted Hinnenkamp

Albert Lea