Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Monday, May 3

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Take steps to end teacher shortages

Each May for Teacher Appreciation Week (May 3-7 this year), I say thank you to my fellow educators for their work.
But after the year we’ve had, just saying thanks isn’t enough.
Before the pandemic, New York faced a teacher shortage.
One-third of educators are at or near retirement age, yet enrollment in the college teacher preparation programs is down 50% since 2009.
There’s about a dozen shortage areas New York schools face, ranging from special education to English as a second language to social studies courses.
Now consider the effects of the pandemic on education.
Burnout is a common term among teachers, students and parents alike.
Working doubly hard to triage academic and social-emotional needs of students while trying to maintain the safest possible environment in the classroom is no easy feat for educators.
As a society, we cannot allow the past year of stress and anxiety to wear our educators out any further or color the perceptions of our students about what a career in education is like.
We have to actively recognize the value of public education to our society. Part of doing so is encouraging young people to consider the rewards of a career in education and supporting early-career educators in particular through things like professional development that helps them overcome early challenges and grow into top-flight teachers.
That may sound simplistic, but it requires hard work to accomplish. Showing our appreciation is worth it.
Andy Pallotta
Loudonville
The writer is president of New York State United Teachers.

Open nursing homes without restrictions

It is time for the commissioner of Health and the governor to reopen nursing homes without restrictions.
Staff, residents and their family members have had the opportunity to get vaccinated.
Now people want to get back to living, especially those fragile members of our society who have been separated for so long from their loved ones and disappointed over and over again with sudden closures. Sanitary conditions are in place; masks are worn.
Closing the homes will not bring back the thousands who perished because the governor did not have the courage to act in a bipartisan way and use the hospital ship and Javits Center for sick people.
These still living residents are basically imprisoned ‘for their own sake.’
They’ve gone without haircuts, dental appointments and eye doctor appointments for more than a year. They’ve missed holidays, birthdays and even funerals of dear friends. Enough! Let us in.
Mary Winters
Schenectady

Tubbs would serve Shen district well

I am writing to express my support for Kara Tubbs as a candidate for the Shenendehowa School District Board of Education. When considering who to vote for, I reflect on the candidate’s demonstrated values, real-life experience and ability to translate these into forward-thinking policies that will better our community.
I have known Kara for five years and I believe she is a candidate who will bring these attributes to the BOE.
Kara and I first met with our children during organized hikes at town parks. I have come to know her as a passionate environmental advocate, a caring and energetic mother, and an effective communicator with clear priorities and values. Kara is an active community member in many aspects, including volunteering for the Town Open Space Committee’s annual Bump in the Night Hike, teaching Junior Achievement at her children’s school, and working with CAPTAIN Youth & Family services.
Kara has a background in education administration, budget, and finance and is committed to reviewing Shen’s green initiatives to improve environmental health in a fiscally responsible manner.
I strongly believe Kara Tubbs is an excellent candidate for the Shenendehowa BOE. I encourage you to support her on May 18.
Kelsi Clark
Rexford

 

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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

13 Comments

William Marincic

Andy Pallotta Please answer two questions for me. First question is why has your union given millions and millions of dollars to only Democrat politicians? The second question is a simple one how come throughout the 60s and 70s into the 80s did our education system only need one teacher in the classroom? I can tell you there were 35 students and sometimes more in each of my classes from kindergarten through high school and we only ever had one teacher per class and I guarantee you we got a better education.

LOUIS RESTIFO

William Marincic, people of your and Fred Barney’s mindset are overflowing with two main ingredients; ignorance and indifference:

Ignorance, because you pay ZERO attention to fact. – “Why waste time trying to discover the truth, when you can so easily create it?”
David Baldacci

Indifference, because you care about nothing other than what you believe is good for you alone. – “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
-Muhamed Ali But you wouldn’t understand that.

“The second question is a simple one how come throughout the 60s and 70s into the 80s did our education system only need one teacher in the classroom?”
William, You are clueless as to how education has evolved since you were in “kindergarten through high school”, drifting off thinking of ways to pick on your classmates. How many computer courses did you take?

Good educators, are underpaid when considering other career options for people with their education. Also consider the many underfunded school systems that make teachers jobs more difficult. Many teachers now provide students with necessary supplies from their own personal income.
They also can be great mentors and influences for moral and proper human relation education, not just 2 plus 2 equals 4 (5 in your case) education.

The importance of availability for ALL young minds in America to have a top notch education is if the upmost importance, so as to stay competitive in all aspects of a rapidly changing world.

“First question is why has your union given millions and millions of dollars to only Democrat politicians?”
William, I don’t know if that is true, but if in fact it is, I would answer by saying, because apparently there’s nothing of any substance in education for you and your Republican buddies. – Don’t need to much brain power to figure how to act like savages while storming the Capital.

Putting aside your clear hate for teachers, and preferred love for White law enforcers (ones you like, anyway), let’s be honest about the issues you’ve distorted here:

NYSUT does support politicians who they see “are pro-public-education and pro-labor”. Since Republicans have made it clear they do not support those ideas, why should NYSUT endorse them. Are you new to politics? Just as your beloved police unions and the NRA have a right to support the third-world initiatives they espouse, so do the teachers’ unions. What part of that do you have a problem with?

Ever wonder where your beloved one-room schoolhouses went? They’re still out there, rotting in the woods and sometimes rescued for museums. The students today are vastly different, with different challenges than ‘the gold old days’. If you’d gotten the quality public education that I got in the 60’s and 70’s, you’d know that. It sounds like you tragically missed out.

William Marincic

It didn’t take long to hear from the party of hate. Let me put a couple of things to rest since you two know so little, first I don’t I hate teachers, I actually love teachers I hate teachers unions, and the fact that the education these kids get is being controlled by liberal bureaucrats in DC, IE; critical race theory…..I’m actually a school board member. It’s amazing that Mark Mahoney continues to allow you two to attack and disparage anyone who doesn’t agree with your far-left ideas for America.

LOUIS RESTIFO

“It didn’t take long to hear from the party of hate.”

Exactly, unlike the many trump thumping Republicans, we hate racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. We also hate lying, ignorance and manipulation of fact, as well as over the top propaganda as espoused on the Fox Opinion Show.

LOUIS RESTIFO

“It’s amazing that Mark Mahoney continues to allow you two to attack and disparage anyone who doesn’t agree with your far-left ideas for America.”

“Let me put a couple of things to rest since you two know so little”

Are we supposed to interpret that as a compliment?

Btw, I’ll bet a month’s income that one month ago you had no idea that “critical race theory” was a thing because you hadn’t heard it on your noise machine yet.

Sheesh, you people are so predictable.

William Aiken

Bill aptly points out the distinction between teachers and teacher unions. A hallmark of the left is to ignore these differences as they do with legal/illegal immigration and conflate the two into one issue and then they smear you with the charge that you hate teachers and immigrates.

“I can tell you there were 35 students and sometimes more in each of my classes from kindergarten through high school and we only ever had one teacher per class and I guarantee you we got a better education.”

That statement, young William, puts the onus squarely on the “failures” of teachers. And since teachers have already been pilloried for being overpaid by the same Black Hole of thought, it’s not a stretch at all to understand what the dog whistle is calling.
Labor unions of any flavor are up for criticism, but if you ‘love teachers’ and ‘hate their unions’, you’d damn well better be clear about that.

William Marincic

Wrong as usual Chuck there is not a failure by most teachers, the failure is the curriculum being forced on our children by the Dept. Of Education which Jimmy Carter started in 1979. When education was left to the states and the local school boards the children got what they needed to be successful, yes times have changed and the curriculum has to evolve but it needs to evolve on things to help our children be successful. Things like racism and the new catchphrase critical race theory and the 1619 project have no place in our education system. Education needs to be taken back by the states and we need to get rid of the DOE and put strict limits on Teachers Unions.

Joseph Vendetti

Guys:

Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Niskayuna, Scotia, Mohonasen, Schalmont, Burnt Hills, etc, etc – are spending on average $21,000 per pupil to educate are children and grandchildren in these upstate NY districts.

Some of these districts rank extremely high not only in NYS but nationally for graduation rates, test scores, college acceptance and others spending the exact same dollars per student are on the bottom of those lists.

Yes teaching, programs, etc have evolved to having a teacher and possibly two para’s in each class from when we had one, but I would think the largest difference is the size of the administration (principals, house principals, assistant principals, assistant superintendents, etc) – those are the high salary positions that raise the per pupil cost.

But one must ask themselves- how do schools like LaSalle, CBA, Bishop Gibbons, Holy Names – educate students for less then $10,000 per student and maintain high graduation rates, high test scores, etc?

I believe – its parental involvement

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