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Topic: Let's Teach Students, Not "Inspire" Them
Replies: 7   Last Post: Dec 1, 2012 11:17 PM

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Domenico Rosa

Posts: 2,197
Registered: 2/16/05
Let's Teach Students, Not "Inspire" Them
Posted: Nov 27, 2012 8:35 AM
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The following Letter to the Editor was published in The Hartford Courant on 27 Nov. 2012, Page A8. The Letter was written in response to the Opinion pieces at:

http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/hc-op-vazquez-caballero-education-must-ignite-stud-20121123,0,4671014.story

http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/hc-op-pelto-lecker-connecticut-schools-underfunded-20121123,0,6000165.story

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http://www.courant.com/news/opinion/letters/hc-letters-to-the-editor-cdb,0,1099648,results.formprofile?Query=10513HC

Let's Teach Students, Not "Inspire" Them

Charles Ayer, Vernon

The Courant's lead Opinion articles on education [Nov. 25, "Inspiring Students" and "Connecticut School Woefully Underfunded, Formula Broken" were not data-based and were utterly misguided.

Between 1970 and 2009, the number of students per full-time equivalent teacher in the US fell from 22.3 to 15.4. Between 1970 and 2005, spending per pupil in constant year dollars doubled, from $4,500 a student to $9,000 a student. We are obviously spending plenty of money and we arguably have too many teachers.

I graduated from public high school in 1971. I never felt that my education was impeded by an overcrowded classroom and I had consistently outstanding teachers. The weak ones were weeded out pretty quickly. I was taught how to read and write and was given a firm grounding in history, mathematics and the sciences. I studied two languages and was exposed to the beautiful worlds of art and music.

My classmates and I were imparted knowledge that made us useful and valuable. We went on to become doctors, lawyers, tradesmen, businesswomen, engineers and entrepreneurs. We were not peddled drivel about "learning how to learn" or "learning how to ask questions, not answer them."

In order to move forward, we must go back -- to basics.



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