To the Editor: Statistics about teachers can be misleading
Written by Patrick Caserta   
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 09:49
I know that I am not alone in feeling that I pay too many taxes. The Citizens for Financial Responsibility ads are very passionate however; I do not believe they are accurate.  Mark Twain said that "There are lies, damned lies and statistics." Statistics may be skewed to meet the needs of the author.  I cannot dispute the "facts" but I may be able to shed some light on the truth.
I am not an educator, I am however married to one, two of my three brothers are educators and three of my sisters-in-law are educators.  I consider myself as an outsider with a view to the inside.  I do not always agree with policies mandated by the educational boards but I never question the dedication of the teachers I know.
Returning to the "statistics" in the ads, we cannot be fooled by the talking points.  A school day is seven hours long, five days a week, and only nine months out of the year, however, no one who knows a teacher believes that this is the extent of their responsibilities.  My wife works over 12 hours per day.  Her breaks are spent planning and meeting the ever changing education guidelines as well as maintaining her continuing education.  
The salaries quoted in the ads are misleading.  Teachers' salaries include stipends that are not part of their daily classroom work.  Our educators are paid to engage in various other extra-curricular activities.  This is done out of a desire to educate these children and to ensure that they become well rounded people.  We have to ask who we want educating our young people.  An inexperienced educator will work for less money but they cannot provide the skill, classroom management and overall positive experience that a seasoned educator can provide.  
I have said to my children "show me your friends and I will show you your future" I believe, we can say the same of our education system:  "show me your community's schools and I will show you your community's future."  
I am not writing this letter at the behest of my wife but as a concerned citizen.  I do not presume to tell anyone else how to vote but I due urge all citizens to do their own due diligence and make their own informed decision and not based upon the statistics provided by either side.
Patrick Caserta
Bowling Green
 

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