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Thursday, April 24, 2014
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Published: Sunday, 2/9/2014

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

New semester, renewed commitment

Our public school system represents our nation’s commitment to helping all children achieve their dreams. If we’re being honest, that aspiration for a great public education for every child has never been totally fulfilled, including here in Toledo.

As students, teachers, paraprofessionals, and school staff begin a new academic term, I ask the Toledo community, especially parents and community partners, to reclaim the promise of public education with us. We can fulfill our collective responsibility to create individual opportunity for all children.

The promise of public education is under attack by those who think the answer to providing high-quality education is to starve our schools of money and necessary resources, by those who see public education as the last frontier to privatize, and by those who emphasize testing over teaching, ideology over evidence, and sanctions instead of support.

We can reclaim the promise of public education by fighting for neighborhood public schools that are safe, welcoming places where teachers, paraprofessionals, and school staff are well prepared and supported.

Children must have an engaging, well-rounded curriculum that includes art, music, and the sciences, as well as access to wraparound services to meet their emotional, social, and health needs.

By uniting our voices —parents, students, teachers, paraprofessionals, support staff, and the community — we will help our public schools become centers of their communities. We will secure a voice and respect for those who are closest to the classroom, and fulfill public education’s purpose as a propeller of our economy, an anchor of democracy, and a gateway to racial, social, and economic justice.

KRISTINA SCHWARZKOPF

Political Coordinator Toledo Federation of Teachers South Byrne Road

 

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