Once again the ultra-conservative editors at the NH Union Leader have completely missed the mark. Today they published an editorial on the idea to use “volunteers” to oversee virtual classrooms.
This ridiculous idea came from Mayor Gatas as a way to expand charter schools and reduce the cost of education in Manchester.
“Mayor Ted Gatsas is posing by advocating that virtual learning classrooms in Manchester’s public schools be headed by volunteers, not teachers.”
Here is the plan as laid out by the NH Union Leader:
“The mayor wants to expand learning opportunities in the public schools by providing “virtual classrooms.” Students could either take a course through the state’s Virtual Learning Academy Charter School”
This is a bad idea and I will explain why. Have you ever watched a YouTube video on how to change a sink drain? It seemed very easy as you watched the pre-recorded video, right? Then what happened? You got started, and something did not go the same way as it did when you watched the video. After playing with it for a short time you end up calling the plumber and paying someone to not only fix the original problem, but fix your mess too.
Now imagine if instead of a sink drain, you are teaching children mathematics, or english? We can all agree that every child learns differently and at different paces. When that child has a problem and needs a real live person to answer it, who do you want helping you child? Do you want a mom or dad from the parents association, or do you want a professional teacher? Do you want someone who has been trained to teach children of all levels and abilities this specific material or some parent who has a kid in the class?
The NH Union Leader says that the Manchester Education Association has “Concerns” over this idea. Of course they have “concerns” over this, it is much more politically correct than telling you boss (the mayor) that this is the dumbest idea you have every heard in your entire life.
I completely reject the editors comment that, “the MEA is really concerned about union membership and compensation”. No the MEA is not concerned about membership, they are concerned about the quality of education being provided to the students in Manchester. After all they are dedicated professionals who have devoted their lives to helping teach children.
The Union Leader likes to complain that our education system in New Hampshire is failing our children and we need things like Students First or Charter Schools to fix them. It is ideas like these and ‘virtual classrooms without teachers’ that would completely destroy public education in NH. You want a better education system in Manchester then start by finding a better ways to fund it. Put more teachers in classrooms and fewer students in a class. Give them the tools they need to teach every child, not just the really smart or rich ones.
Every child deserves a quality education.