I always enjoy reading Leonard Pitts’ insightful and well-reasoned opinions. I found two recent columns on the KIPP charter schools interesting.

I wonder what our public schools would be like if they could work in the same manner as KIPP? Couldn’t public schools have longer days, high expectations and more teacher freedom? Couldn’t we change the school bureaucracy to pay teachers more? If part of the difference is reintegrating arts, phys-ed, band, and other curricula that have disappeared from our schools, why do we not add them back?

Why not get rid of all the red tape educators are forced to endure?

I wonder if charter schools must provide all the special education and other services that are now mandated to public schools? If they do have to provide these services, are they included in per-pupil costs, or do the hosting communities have to pay for these services?

The unions must do their part. They must allow the firing of incompetent teachers. They must be open to changes, such as longer days or years with a commensurate increase in pay.

Most teachers are dedicated and want to do the necessary work to teach students, but they are unhappy with the pressures of bureaucracy.

If teachers are given the freedom to teach and use their own creativity; paid adequately and given respect; you then only have to do as Mr. Pitts suggests – get out of the way.

Stanley Tetenman, Poland

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