Ask educators about fixes

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Gov. Baldacci’s school merger proposal leaves too many important questions unanswered, with only the typical political response of, “it saves taxes,” and “questions will be answered after we implement our program.”

The governor should be honest about the proposal, and stop making school administrators and teachers the target of those upset with their local taxes. The real issue is higher local taxes due to the state not funding education as prescribed by the law.

Back in 2003, when the No Child Left Behind Act reared its ugly head, many states saw through the veil of deception, but not Maine. The Baldacci administration failed to comply by using a non-qualifying exam to measure student progress. It made teachers and administrators the scapegoats for Maine’s “failing” schools, and prompted citizen groups to demand that school budgets be cut to lower taxes. Prior to 2003, Maine students ranked in the top 10 percent of the nation, based on results of an exam approved under NCLB guidelines.

If you connect the dots, you might come to the conclusion that NCLB paved the way for our state officials to deflect the focus from their inability to control state spending. Fewer superintendents, special education directors and teachers, but at what cost? Higher student-to-teacher ratios?

How about asking real educators how to fix education in Maine? How about making students and their parents more responsible for their part in the process.

Education accountability does not stop with teachers and administrators.

Todd Mogul, Lewiston

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