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Saturday/Sunday, March 24-25, 2012: Education reform and Angus King


Education reform reality

The recent education articles (March 12-20) were informative but hardly comforting for parents of children attending 21st century schools.

No Child Left Behind managed to leave behind immeasurable data with nowhere to dump it. Massive problems face future schools and Gov. Lepage and Education Commissioner Bowen want to launch more nit-picking solutions: musical chairs with charter schools, retooled teacher evaluations, etc.

Future teacher evaluations won’t be worth the paper on which they’re printed. Shouldn’t research be in progress as to where and how teachers will be made available ten years from now? Any makeshift survey will reveal that in the last five years, education graduates have diminished significantly. And why not? Today’s college debts are higher than credit card debts. You don’t need seminal insight to figure out why high school graduates choose anything but teaching. Who wants to go into marginal poverty? And perchance they do, how long will they stay in a profession that demands consistent evidence of professional effectiveness?

Teachers cannot pick and choose their clients or patients as do lawyers and doctors nor do degrees in education include fine-print disclaimers of “This product may be returned if not completely satisfied.” Shouldn’t our colleges and universities fulfill their role in this reform? This educational overhaul can only succeed with full leadership from higher education and state efforts. My teaching evaluations of 34 years are all neatly packed away — somewhere. They are not as precious as a stack of withered thank-you cards but are more like USDA stamps of approval.

Elizabeth Jalbert Pecoraro

Fort Kent

King the killer

Don’t be fooled by Angus King’s decision to run for the Senate as an independent. King has endorsed Obama’s reelection campaign — he would caucus with the socialist from Vermont on the Democrat side.

What voters need to keep in mind is that during the King terms as governor, he did not represent all of Maine. Although King did not invent the “two Maine” policies, he poured concrete around that policy. Two Maines has made Aroostook the oldest county in the U.S. with a bleak economic future — Washington County is even more bleak economically.

King killed or at least allowed to die while in office the last serious attempt to get Aroostook and Washington counties on U.S. electrical power in 1991. We are dependent on Quebec for our lights and computers.

King killed the Boliden attempt to get a mining permit at Bald Mountain west of Ashland. Boliden is a Swedish company, mining where environmental laws are more stringent than in Maine. With the price of silver, copper and gold at all-time highs, no serious permit attempts have been made since.

King killed the sportsmen activists’ attempt to get Atlantic salmon above Grand Falls to help tourism. The activists had received agreement from New Brunswick to fund the entire fish ladder project at Grand Falls.

King’s attempting to fool you that he’s independent and will serve all of Maine. He doesn’t deserve your vote.

Theo Nykreim


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