Rea­sons for Colorado’s grow­ing teacher short­age aren’t a mys­tery

The Denver Post - - OPINION - Re: Gerry Camilli, Renee Far­rar,

“Bill aims to ad­dress lack of teach­ers,” March 28 news story.

As a teacher, I look at the Colorado leg­is­la­ture’s at­tempt to un­der­stand the teacher short­age with both amuse­ment and sad­ness. Leg­is­la­tors need only look at their piti­ful at­tempts to “re­form” ed­u­ca­tion over the last 25 years — start­ing with wast­ing tax dol­lars on sci­en­tif­i­cally du­bi­ous stan­dard­ized test­ing and a ridicu­lously en­cum­bered teacher eval­u­a­tion sys­tem. Sprin­kle in some scape­goat­ing of teach­ers and unions for the ills of so­ci­ety and, presto, as­pir­ing teach­ers get the mes­sage loud and clear. Why would any­one want to in­vest in a col­lege ed­u­ca­tion only to go into a pro­fes­sion where you’re treated with sus­pi­cion and ridicule?

Leg­is­la­tors don’t need an­other “ed­u­ca­tion” bill. If they were to sit down and talk to us, they’d get an­swers — not the an­swers they want to hear, but the an­swers they need to hear.

BBB Ac­cord­ing to your ar­ti­cle, one pur­pose of House Bill 1003 is to “iden­tify root causes of the teacher short­age” in Colorado. May I sug­gest that the pro­po­nents of the bill skim the pages of The Den­ver Post, es­pe­cially be­tween 2010 and 2015? Count the num­ber of ar­ti­cles, let­ters to the ed­i­tor and col­umns that de­nounce teach­ers as noth­ing more than greedy, self-serv­ing union par­a­sites rob­bing the taxpayers of their hard-earned cash and hav­ing lit­tle in­ter­est in chil­dren. Spat­tered here and there one will also find let­ters to the ed­i­tor warn­ing Colorado that the per­va­sive at­ti­tude that teach­ers are a worth­less lot who do not de­serve the money they get or any re­spect will re­sult in a teacher short­age. Why would any young per­son want a ca­reer in a field that has been scorned by the Colorado public?

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