As usual, when there are problems in the Toledo Public Schools, blame the teachers.
Can't pass a levy? It's the teachers' fault, they don't live in the district.
Can't pass a proficiency test? It must be due to the poor teaching skills of the teachers.
Try placing the blame where it belongs, on parents who don't care.
The majority of teachers spend more of their hard-earned money on the students in their classrooms than on their families. We campaign, hand out literature, and make phone calls for levy support. We stay after school many extra hours to tutor, provide family learning events after school for our communities, and request numerous meetings with parents to help support their child's education. We do all this, much to the chagrin of our neglected families and children.
Do the parents show up? Very few, and it's always the dedicated parents whose children pass proficiency testing with flying colors.
Maybe we should start supporting our teachers and lay the blame at whose doorstep it belongs, apathetic parents who are not involved and couldn't care less whether their child succeeds in school, much less life.
Maybe we as teachers should start publishing statistics of parent-teacher conference turnout, or proficiency practice night turnout. What about the daily attendance of students? (How can we teach them if they don't show up?)
Or better yet, why don't we publish the number of parents who have Safe School acts against them for violence against teachers and staff?
Then and only then will the community see the real reason for the TPS district's shortcomings: Parents who don't care about their kids!
Doni Miller, co-chairman of the Toledo Public Schools' levy campaign, declared “everyone that contributed to the defeat of this levy should be ashamed.”
I'm ashamed of a school system with such poor academic achievement results.
I'm ashamed of an individual who doesn't respect our choice as to how we want to spend our money.
I'm ashamed of the lack of financial accountability practiced by TPS.
I'm ashamed of the lack of appreciation we receive for paying their salaries out of our salaries.
I'm ashamed of the fact that local government officials place an increased burden on the citizens to prioritize our spending and make personal sacrifices because we have less disposable income with increased taxation, yet are not willing to make the same sacrifices.
I'm ashamed of the fact my 401(k) losses are a better value than the return on investment our students receive from the TPS system.
In all the debate about Toledo's school levy, there is one key fact that seems to get little attention: Property taxes are outrageous as they are! They need to be reduced, not the cover-up slogan: “no increase, just a renewal.”
When I bought my home in 1999, my taxes were $1,400 per year. They are now $2,200 a year, and a big chunk of that is for Toledo schools.
The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that property taxes are not the way to pay for schools - and still we go through this levy syndrome over and over. In this current poor economy it is a heavy burden on taxpayers to keep approving levies - not everyone has lots of extra money for already high taxes. Whether you own or rent, you still pay more out of pocket.
Maybe the entire financial system should be overhauled, just like any business that is failing.
EVAN J. CHASE
The Toledo school levy was a clear demonstration as to how pathetic we Americans have become.
A recent contributor to this forum said “our Founding Fathers recognized that a strong public educational system is paramount to a free society.”
Really? If our Founders found that we allowed government to educate us or indoctrinate us as it is, they would have an immediate violent reversal of their metabolic processes, and then they would lock and load.
Also, if anyone can tell me which HMO they belonged to, let me know, because the horrendous idea of government education that we gleaned from Prussia was not introduced in this country until the late 1800s, which would make them about 130 years old or older. It's obvious this proponent of the tax was government-schooled.
Although there were many other ridiculous statements surrounding this issue, no one seemed to ask the fundamental question:
How much should it cost to educate a child?
When you can get a far better education at the Montessori schools or the new Heartlight school on Dorr Street for less than half of what we're spending in our city schools, the smartest thing we could do is bus the kids there and get our money back.
As a Toledo Public school teacher, I have read with great interest the many letters regarding the budget cuts that are currently taking place in our school district. According to most of these, “many” of these (job) cuts would have been avoided if the Toledo Federation of Teachers union would just accept a $10 co-pay on doctor's office visits. Let's do the math:
The administration is cutting around 230 first- and second-year teachers. These teachers earn about $30,000 per year. This will save the district $6.9 million.
In order to equal this savings, each of the 2,800 teachers in our district would need to visit the doctor's office 240 times a year (2,800 x 240 visits x $10 per visit = 6.7 million).
Let's look at this another way. If each of these 2,800 teachers visits the doctor, say, five times a year ( 2,800 x 5 x $10 ) the savings to the district would be $140,000 per year. Isn't that just about what the superintendent makes ?
Why do so many assume that teachers are concerned more with their own self-interests than the future of our children?
A recent article decried the fact that 60 percent of Toledo Public Schools teachers couldn't vote for the recent school levy because they live out of district, but it failed to point out that there is a large number of teachers in other school systems who live in Toledo and regularly vote in favor of TPS school levies.
Being a resident of Toledo, I am not able to vote in my own school district (Maumee); however, I do support the Toledo Public Schools system, and I am confident that the TPS employees who live in Maumee do the same for our levies.
What could be more important than educating our children? Without well educated citizens, America cannot continue to flourish. Teachers are reminded of this 180 days a year.
Limiting our choices of residency will not change our commitment to kids.
BARBARA S. ANDREWS
A defeat for our future doctors
Isn't it unfortunate that we live in a community with so little interest in the education of our youth? In 20 years these are the people who will be cleaning our teeth and operating on our hearts.
People who think this defeat is a victory need to have their heads examined. But they better do it quickly. They'll have to rely on the doctors of the present as they have no regard for creating doctors of the future.