November 17th, 2010 WW Editorial Staff | Letters to the Editor
 

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wweek.com readers speak on… “The Big Ask”

“At my last conference with my daughter’s fifth grade teacher, I asked her why my daughter was not learning how to do long division.

After a condescending discussion about how kids learn math a new way now, and learn multiple ways of solving problems, she had my daughter (who was right there) demonstrate this. She could not solve the problem. Then the teacher said, ‘In most situations where she has a problem like this, she will have access to a calculator.’

After that conversation, I realized that my child would not get adequate preparation for college (or life) in Portland Public Schools. She is now enrolled in a private school. It is expensive, but my daughter’s future is worth it.

I checked, and based on the assessed value of my home, the tax increase will be $500, not $300.

As the article points out, people are concerned about jobs and education. Not construction jobs to build schools in which poor education takes place. Our own jobs, which no longer pay enough for us to waste money on a school system that does not work.—Fred King

“I’m interested in seeing more specifically how the District plans to spend the money. If the schools are somehow unsafe, they should be upgraded. But for other improvements, the District needs to make a connection between learning and the improvement.

I took classes in a modified 100-year-old barn and it didn’t really affect how well I learned history or pre-calc, so I’m not sold on the idea that a WWII-era classroom is unsuitable.…” —Erik

“It seems like at least some of the proposed spending is something less than necessary. Lincoln would get “new architectural designs”—WTF?! I’m a liberal, pro-public-education, often stereotypically pro-tax kind of person, and even I can’t stomach the thought of paying $300/year for 6 years when PPS has shown no sign of fiscal responsibility. A couple of my friends are teachers and I was embarrassed to admit to them that I felt that way, but both of them said they didn’t think PPS was fiscally trustworthy.” —Beth

“Amazing comments from Americans who still see school as something that ends at 12th grade, which, truth be told, is about the same as the Chinese 8th grade. And they want to give our education system a tough time on providing a decent place for kids to learn. America should worship education! It’s always been our country’s savior. Yet blowhards in these comment boxes throw rocks at it. The late, great United States.” —Newsrocket

 
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