The much heralded wars on poverty, drugs and terrorism have caused billions in dollars and millions in lives but netted only more poverty, more drugs and more terrorism.
Will it be likewise with the war on ignorance currently declared by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger? Will the cutting of programs in art, journalism, music, foreign language, etc., not leave behind children with special talents?
Will the students learn more when “merit pay” leads to secrecy, backstabbing and favoritism among teachers and administrators? Will all students benefit when novel lesson plan ideas are jealously guarded instead of shared? Who decides which, why, and how many teachers in each district deserve merit pay?
Finally, who will be the people daring enough to enter teaching after health benefits, state pensions, and job security are cut? Will the low and frozen starting salary of teachers inspire six to seven years of university studies and approximately $50,000 in student loans?
All of these questions make me wonder whether Gov. Schwarzenegger and the Citizens to Save California, a coalition of business groups, are truly trying to be fair to students or whether they have a hidden agenda. Could this be the beginning of an all-out war on public education?
Is the goal to increase an exodus of students to private schools? Will vouchers replace public school funding? Is the true agenda to severely underfund the most democratic of American institutions, the public school, and cut outsourcing by creating a readily available pool of poverty-wage laborers and desperate recruits for the military?
— Gisela Rahmeyer, Ventura