The kids, not teachers, are F'd

I am an elementary-school teacher and I work in a high-poverty school. I'm dismayed at the national tone toward teachers unions and teachers in general. I don't think that the article "Your Teacher is F'd" [WW, March, 23, 2011] adds any constructive information to the dialogue. Of course teachers need a strong union with political backing. It doesn't seem like there is anyone else calling attention to the good work we are still doing. 

I have a classroom with 26 students. One-third of them speak a language other than English at home. Another third have single parents who work full time. Add to this mix students who have various clinically diagnosed psychological issues, from ADHD to post traumatic stress disorder to oppositional defiance disorder. These students have trouble navigating life, not to mention passing high-stakes testing. When I hear that Governor [John] Kitzhaber is going to tie school funding to outcomes in testing, these are the kids I think of. Instead of making this into a fight…how about teachers and lawmakers come together and create a system that works better? 

John Harrison

Lincoln Park Elementary readers comment on “Douchebags not allowed”: 

"I can understand Knox's desire for an upscale establishment. But he's a moron for opening up one in a Section 8 area across the street from homeless missions. Their dream of a European alley sounds like a great plan to ask for spare change." —Dan

"How of the moment, really.

Bar undoubtedly patronized by white folks raised in the suburbs who smugly congratulate themselves for living the 'big city experience' seeks to exclude the suburban troglodytes they go great pains to distance themselves from.

And for the record, there are many, many born & bred Portlanders flooding the downtown bars who fit the description of the stereotypical 'Beaverton douchebag.' Apparently, this is a fact that escapes Mr. Pitkin and the cultured circles he surrounds himself with." —Jake

"The rules upon entrance are fine; it's his business, he can make the rules. However, if a businessman wants to close a city street so he can sell more of his food, that isn't cool. Understand that he is trying to use a public right of way changed so that he can do more business.

That, ladies and gents, is what a douchebag would do." —Downtown Brown

"...Look, no one likes meathead-esque people, but this city is going to break its arm patting itself on the back if it's not careful. I mean, he opened a bar at that location and is annoyed that it's not the French Riviera. Get over yourselves, people...." —Mike

Letters to the editor must include the author's street address and phone number for verification. Letters must be 250 or fewer words.
Submit to: 2220 NW Quimby St., Portland, OR 97210.
Fax: (503) 243-1115, Email: