October 21, 2019
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Friday, September 13, 2019: Maine teacher certification system is broken, respect women’s sports, IF&W right on fisheries management

Respect women’s sports

Regarding the Sept. 10 BDN article, “UMaine athletes and coaches have Title IX concerns after the shocking interruption of a field hockey game,” 47 years after the signing of Title IX, female athletes are still struggling to gain equal opportunity and respect in the athletics community. The decision made by the Kent State University athletic department to end the University of Maine versus Temple University field hockey game before the second overtime, in order to set up fireworks for a midday football game, is embarrassing and hurtful not only to the teams involved but to female athletes everywhere.

They are showing women in sports that they not only matter less than men’s athletics but even less than festivities preceding men’s athletics. Sadly, though, this event is not shocking. Women’s athletics have been mocked, ridiculed, and placed on the back-burner for decades. An event like this shows how little progress is being made concerning equality. It is infuriating to see that based on gender, women’s teams are given less priority than men’s teams.

This chain of events is not only damaging for the UMaine and Temple field hockey teams but to female student-athletes across the country. Administrators need to support the athletes who put in hours of work and proudly wear their school colors, regardless of their gender or sport.

Ali Tobey

Good fisheries management

Bob Mallard, in a Sept. 9 letter to the editor, once again states that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife does not fully embrace catch and release. While C&R is undoubtedly an effective management tool, there are many other options required for different situations.

Maine’s salmon and trout waters can support only so many pounds of fish; most important factors being suitable habitat, i.e. quality and temperature of the water, spawning and nursery areas and available feed. Fisheries biologists try to maintain a delicate balance so that fishing opportunity and preservation of the resource are not compromised, made more challenging by inevitable politics.

Additionally, we all should know that fisheries management is not an exact science. Potential solutions must be tried, evaluated and revised, possibly several times, to meet established goals.

It is disingenuous for Mallard to criticize biologists for stocking lake trout in Sebago and Moosehead Lakes that add fishing opportunities, as he did in an Aug. 16 article, and then blaming them for saying truthfully that C&R was the problem in those lakes because of an over population of small fish that threatened the survival of trout and salmon. As soon as C&R was eliminated in Moosehead, the brook trout population surged.

I have enjoyed fishing in Maine since 1951 and will unequivocally state that my fishing has either improved or remained consistent due to outstanding management by our dedicated professional IF&W biologists.

Joe Bertolaccini

Broken teacher certification

Maine teacher certification is seriously flawed as Paul Stearns pointed out in his Sept. 10 BDN OpEd, and has been for years. Maine’s restrictive and simple-minded requirements are keeping the highly qualified individuals mentioned, as well as others, out of our schools that urgently

need the best teachers we can find.

I am also one of them. When I moved back to Maine, I found that I would be required to take at least a year’s worth of full-time “methods” courses plus supervised practice teaching to get a provisional social studies certificate. My prior qualifications didn’t count, those being chair of the history department and college counselor for five years at a boarding school, director of counseling and history teacher at another highly respected private school, dean of a Maine community college, head instructor for 125 Army Reserve instructors at West Point, Maine’s representative to the New England Board of Higher Education, and more. In addition, while chair of the education admissions committee at Boston University, I had to decide on the fitness of many Maine applicants to enroll in our School of Education.

Let’s hope, as Stearns urges, that we finally get an education commissioner and State Board of Education that knows anything about how to save Maine’s quality of education, and that Gov. Janet Mills is listening.

Peter Duston


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