I was fortunate to have benefited from an excellent public school education in Idaho, while growing up in the ’60s and ’70s. I loved going to school. My teachers were allowed creativity and innovation. I had art and music courses. We had the Iowa tests every two years. We had SRA, which was self-scored. I was, and still am, an avid reader.
I also saw friends who struggled. One young man spent most of his elementary years in the hallway, another struggled with reading. Both went on to be successful adults. Why? Their parents cared and went the extra mile for them. The key is parent involvement. In the years I spent as a substitute, I saw primary-age kids come to school hungry and dirty, and without adequate rest, clothing or shoes. You cannot learn under those circumstances. Teachers end up being vilified as the enemy, when in reality they are also serving as coaches, nurses, social workers, counselors and as substitute parents.
I do hope that the Idaho Legislature will find a way to address teacher salaries, since the governor has decided our educators are not worth as much as Wi-Fi technology and lucrative contracts for his cronies.
LAURYNDA WILLIAMS, Meridian