To The Daily Sun,
I am writing in response to the letter with the title: "She supports Glenn Cordelli's attempt to dismantle our public schools" from candidate for state rep Paul Punturieri. I wish to address Punturieri's outlandish claim that Rep Cordelli or I ever said we would wan to do any such thing.
Punturieri attended private school in NYC. Were his parents trying to dismantle public schools? Are homeschooling parents destroying public schools? Would he ban homeschooling?
As with others who pay taxes to support public schools, we merely believe the public deserves to have other options. If public schools worked as intended, perhaps no one would be suggesting alternatives. For one thing, schools have become too politically biased in the way they treat their employees and students. The sad truth is, every part of our government, including our school system, has been tainted by the influence of private, outside, and mostly unelected groups.
Paul acts as if people have no right to speak out on these issues because of where they live. The irony here is that I am a career educator, who has seen firsthand what goes on in the public schools — from 1970 to the present. For example, when it comes to spelling, career politician Paul should know that one of the latest fads he (unwittingly?) supports is teachers are instructed NOT to correct a child's spelling!
Punturieri claims that he "...knows all our school board members..." and thus concludes that, "They control our schools." Really? Who knew that's all it took! When they've handed that control off to outsiders, it is no longer local.
While I agree that our local educators care deeply about what happens in their schools, the truth of the matter is the residents of Moultonborough, Sandwich and Tuftonboro should understand that most school employees have little control over the mandated academic content and/or theory that is practiced. Even the unions, as much as they might like to, can't help teachers when teachers complain about the nonsense they are sometimes asked to deliver. Most teachers won't come forward by themselves because they fear for their jobs. They try to do their best in spite of the extremist agendas from outside the town, state, and even the country. Perhaps Mr Punturieri is unaware of where programs like Common Core, Outcome-Based Education, International Baccalaureate, and other educational fads came from? What about mandated assessments and data collection? Those are NOT locally inspired. So when local school boards accept and allow corporate and non-governmental outsiders to dictate what happens in our classrooms, it is NOT local control. (Google "world core curriculum" and "mvsd ib questions" and check this linkhttp://integraonline.com/~bonville/Education/WhatIsOBE.html)
Instead of defending current educational practices, which put us in the "ineffective" category, Punturieri calls names by insisting that I am an "extremist." If wanting to sound the alarm to let the taxpayers know exactly what is going on in our public schools makes me and "extremist," I proudly wear the title. And as our ample education tax dollars are spread throughout the state, each one of us who pays dearly for these schools has every right to speak out.
In addition to the accusation against myself and Rep. Cordelli, Paul attempts to smear Rep. Comeau for his efforts to ensure government transparency, a free service for which the taxpayers ought to be grateful.
Take away from all this? Paul seems to convey the message that, "you are not allowed to speak out; transparency for government is not needed; alternative schooling is bad; and you should ignore the men behind the curtain." Once again, I ask, is this what makes good government? Is this local control?
By the way, Paul, you consistently spelled MY NAME wrong! But, once again, spelling doesn't matter, or so I'm told by the educational "gurus", consultants who do not actually teach children but who are paid huge salaries to sit in their offices and manage what goes on in our schools, making sure federal mandates and fads are followed.
Jane Aitken (spelled with a 't')
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