[Pkg-xfce-devel] Allowing Teachers to Teach

Representative Dennis Richardson rep.dennisrichardson at state.or.us
Fri Jun 27 23:06:36 UTC 2014

Representative Dennis Richardson 
Rep. Richardson's Newsletter
June 27, 2014 

Allowing Teachers to Teach* 


My wife Cathy and I have nine children who were educated in Oregon’s public education system. From the time when our twins first met their new kindergarten teacher Mrs. Bowers, until nearly thirty years later when our youngest child walked across the stage and received her diploma, the teachers of School District 6 in Central Point, provided our children with the building blocks that made them successful adults. 

Educating our children was a team effort.  Cathy and I talked to the children about their studies, we read to them when they were young, and we attended parent-teacher conferences together.  We will be forever indebted to the caring and professional teachers who took a personal interest in the success of every one of our children. 


Now it is June.  Oregon teachers have packed up their classrooms and are reflecting on the past school year and thinking about the school year ahead. Many are concerned about the increasing time they must spend complying with state and federal regulations instead of teaching children. Oregon’s education system has suffered much criticism for low graduation and achievement rates. Too often these criticisms are directed toward our teachers, whose hands are tied by misdirected mandates from ill-informed education establishment state bureaucrats. (Some refer to these people as “educrats”.) 

At a recent meeting with a group of Oregon educators, my eyes were opened to the excessive ways we have over-burdened our teachers with standardized testing, endless evaluative processes, and the newest bureaucratic nightmare called Common Core. 

Becoming a teacher in Oregon isn’t easy. Future educators spend years honing their skills, learning to engage different learning styles, and adapting to the needs of individual students. Once licensed, they undergo continuing education to make sure every child is taught using the most modern teaching methods. Then, instead of allowing our teachers to teach, the “educrats” impose more administrative requirements that supersede the teacher’s ability to teach and replaces it with standardized lessons, containing standardized materials, for the student to pass a standardized test. 

The barriers preventing our professional educators from having the ability to teach must be removed.  I’ve written in previous newsletters about how a stifling regulatory environment hurts small business. The same concept applies to teachers dealing with state-run bureaucracies. 

In meetings across our state, teachers and local school leaders have shared several stories with me.  In one, a teacher was actually provided a script to read as a lesson. That’s unacceptable. Our system should encourage creativity in teaching, and allow enough flexibility so educators are empowered to tailor lessons to their students. 

If we want to improve the education our children receive, we must enable our teachers to do what they have been trained to do: Teach.  Oregon’s educators do not need "educrats" handing them a cookie cutter script to communicate with students.  Teachers need the power to collaborate with parents, principals and local school boards, and be trusted to do what is in the best interest of our students. It is time for state leaders, including the education establishment state government bureaucrats, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and Oregon Legislators to reaffirm their trust in our teachers, respect their professionalism and training, and give them the honor and trust they deserve. 

In the meantime, let’s thank every teacher we meet for the sacrifices made to teach in a burdensome system that has failed to give them the support and flexibility they deserve. 

Sincerely,Representative Dennis Richardson SignatureDennis Richardson 
State Representative   


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