Letters to the Editor – Teacher Task Force, Dallas ISD, school boards, school policies, free speech
Teachers are not paid enough
Re: “Abbott wants a task force for teachers – the group would try to identify problems and find solutions to the shortage of educators”, article from Tuesday Metro & Business.
I am not a professional who has no idea how to help with the teacher shortage. That said, I know it doesn’t take a task force to determine that teachers aren’t being paid enough for everything they do. They are not paid enough to face the ire of many parents who never cease to appreciate or understand the work they do. They are not paid enough to be a political issue. And they don’t get paid enough to deal with people wondering what books or programs should be used in the classroom.
Oh, and one more thought, why would a teacher/professor want to come and teach in a state that questions tenure?
Perri Brackett, Lewisville
The governor is the problem
As a retired teacher of 30 years, I really laughed out loud when I read that Governor Greg Abbott wanted to create a task force to identify the reasons why teachers quit.
Its response to the pandemic was not to mandate masks in schools, which left teachers and students vulnerable to a deadly disease. Additionally, his own attorney general sued school districts that needed masks.
He also signed a bill that tells teachers how to talk about current and historical racism. It caused so much confusion that an administrator in a training session told teachers they had to give two sides to every issue, including the Holocaust.
And for the grand finale, he asked teachers to report transgender children to child protective services for possible child abuse.
Abbott doesn’t need a task force. He just has to look in the mirror.
Deborah Gallagher, Cedar Hill
Mystifying DISD research method
Re: “How the search for the head of Dallas schools went off the rails – Hiring a company to search for the right superintendent was a mess from the start,” Tuesday editorials.
This editorial regarding the lack of propriety and competence of the Dallas ISD Board of Directors in the process of finding a new superintendent was spot on. I started shaking my head when you first reported that two recruitment firms had been hired. Two companies, really? A company running for the board with no track record in finding school superintendents?
And learning that the board failed to follow the most basic policies, screening potential companies through a formal request for proposals process, is even more disconcerting.
Carol Alspaugh Denton, Dallas
Watch PACs Targeting Trustees
Subject: “PACs Targeting School Boards – Backed by CRT, Book Fights, Conservative Groups Aim to ‘Take Back’ Texas School Trustee Seats,” Sunday news report.
To political action committees targeting school boards, I can only assume that your inability to respond to The Dallas Morning News request for interviews is your failure to provide factual information. I was hoping you would provide examples from your curriculum review of where and in which classes these ‘non-transparent’ subjects are taught and how teachers are inserting the policy into their lesson plans.
I am particularly interested in how critical race theory is introduced. Have your children come to you with concerns about political partisanship and inappropriate topics in the library book selection process? What facts do you discuss with them? What are your older children’s responses? Do you discuss the facts when you raise these topics with the school administration?
I urge The Dallas Morning News Education Lab to continue to research facts from these CCPs and school boards. CAPs may have won the hearts, but not the minds, of those who rely solely on facts, ma’am.
Nancy C. Mack, Carrollton
O’Rourke’s education policy needs work
No one would disagree with Beto O’Rourke that we should raise teacher salaries and improve educational standards in our Texas public schools. However, I question a few of his policy suggestions.
First, why would we fund our schools based solely on enrollment numbers and not on actual attendance? Why should we use taxpayers’ money to fund those who choose not to attend classes? That does not make any sense.
Second, O’Rourke said he would rescind the STAAR assessment test and that it should be used only as a diagnostic tool. So what will be used instead of STAAR? How will we be able to measure the academic success or failure of a student in several subjects?
This isn’t O’Rourke’s first political rodeo. If he plans to make education a key issue in his gubernatorial campaign, he needs to give voters a clear picture of how he will improve our public schools in Texas.
Kay Wrobel, Map
What went wrong during the UNT speech
Re: “Free speech is sacred – College should be a safe place for ideas, even those that are condemnable to applicants”, Monday editorials.
Jeff Younger and, to a lesser extent, the Young Conservatives of Texas have nothing valuable to offer to our cultural debate. The concept of free speech is that a person or organization cannot be punished by the government for what they say. It does not give carte blanche to all marginal actors to spit hatred with impunity.
What was uncivilized at the University of North Texas event was not the general reaction to Younger, but the content of his speech. For young conservatives in Texas to invite people like Younger to speak and then cry foul when informed students push back is disingenuous at best.
The Young Conservatives were probably betting on strong resistance to try to score “liberal property” points with what passes for conservatism in this country, rather than offering an exchange of ideas. History has had these types of people and movements in the past. If there’s one thing we know, it’s that if you give them an inch, they go a mile.
The ugliness of the episode at UNT rests solely and squarely on Younger and the young conservatives of Texas. It was good that they weren’t allowed to use the UNT to spread their brand of hate.
Michael Stone, McKinney
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