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Beline Obeid

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To the Editor:

Public classroom teachers not only provide our child’s needs, but must cope with a nonteaching bureaucracy. There are lots of nonteachers. Let’s examine two of them. The results of any two would be the same. Let’s examine counselors and assistant principals.

Counselors are former classroom teachers. They are not psychologists. Your child, Johnny, has a problem. To whom will Johnny go? Johnny will go to someone who has demonstrated a real interest in him — his classroom teacher. Counseling has always been a natural part of teaching.

The job of counselor has caused an artificial dichotomy between classroom teaching and counseling. The counselor is public education’s “Maytag Repairman.”

K/12 education is found in the classroom. The indispensable job, the star of the system, is the classroom teacher. So why, brother and sister taxpayer, do you pay the counselor more than the classroom teacher?

In place of counselors, each year the school board should hire a professional testing group to plumb the depth of each 11th-grade student to explore the area of life’s endeavor that would be most gratifying, most fulfilling This information should go directly to the parents and the parents should pay for this. This should cost less than a weekend family vacation.

We have lots of assistant principals — three in each high school, and two in other schools. For classroom teachers to earn as much as assistant principals, the classroom teacher would have to receive from 16 percent to 55 percent increases. That’s wrong!

The school board should enthusiastically embrace and enforce the following:

1. The mission of public schools is to educate children. The classroom teacher provides that education. Therefore, the classroom teacher should receive the largest salary, except for the principal and superintendent.

2. When “layoffs” occur, the nonteaching jobs must go first, the classroom teacher last.

3. Also, less than 1 percent to 2 percent of our population at any one time is 75 years and older. At 75, these seniors must be free from all taxes. They have picked too much cotton already. It’s time for emancipation.

S.E. Girardin

Grosse Pointe Farms

S.E. Girardin
January 21, 2004

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