Originally created 01/19/00

Expresses viewpoints on education

As I listen to the reports and the ideas suggested by Georgia's governor, I am increasingly distressed with the recent information about education in America. ... I am not upset because American schools are in disarray but, rather, because I believe in America and in education.

I refuse to concede academic superiority to any nation that owes the U.S. money. Second, what other nation attempts to educate 100 percent of its children between the ages of six and 17? If you had grown up in either Europe or Asia, would you have attained your present level of education? I think not.

Many of the education critics point to the teacher shortage as a reason for poor schools, but they blast every and any attempt to fill open positions. Ironically, in an era of the largest teacher shortage in the United States, critics petition for stricter standards and more difficult certification practices. Wouldn't that keep potential new teachers out of the classroom? Many suggest that schools hire well-educated, but otherwise unqualified people to fill these teaching positions. That's a wonderful idea. I made an A in college biology. Let me operate during your next heart bypass. ...

I have been teaching for 10 years and sometimes, usually around 1 a.m. when I am elbow deep in ungraded papers, I imagine a stress-free life working at a higher paying job -- like politics.

In fact, I have a plan to rejuvenate government. Obviously, our government is being run by ill-educated, stupid people since those who represent me in government all attended American schools. What is even more frightening, these people attended American schools before we realized that our school system was in trouble. ...

By the way, isn't it ironic that Iowa, ranked second in the United States in education, does not administer standardized tests -- not even the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, known lovingly as the ITBS?

Kristina Schimmels, Augusta

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