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Continued: Readers Write (June 15): Retirement, safe driving, NSA, IRS, George Zimmerman, teachers unions, veggie drinks

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  • Last update: June 14, 2013 - 11:41 PM

ROSS OLSON, Minneapolis

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TEACHERS UNIONS

Critic wrongly blames them for learning gap

The only argument that commentary writer Gary Marvin Davison can muster as to why classrooms aren’t “excellent” is that teachers are members of a union (“Guarding the status quo in our schools,” June 22). This kind of non sequitur argument pleases anti-union extremists and fits nicely with the illogical fantasy world inhabited by many right-wing politicians, but it fails to shed light on the actual problem.

There is research that points to early childhood education, a stable home environment, involved and supportive parenting, and good nutrition as factors that influence the success of children in schools. Teachers, whether members of a union or not, who seek and adopt best practices to help students achieve graduation and go on to college understand these conditions, even if they are unable to compensate for them during the school day. When we underfund schools, disparage teaching as a career and try to micromanage outcomes with political agendas, we get what we have today.

GEORGE HUTCHINSON, Minneapolis

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VEGETABLE DRINKS

Juicing is for wimps. Eat your carrots

Fruit and veggies should be consumed in the simplest form, rather than squandering resources making juice (“Drink your veggies,” June 11). Consume the whole product and compost peelings, etc. Juicing uses electricity, which has a high environmental price tag. Keep it simple — don’t be a wimp.

SHARON FORTUNAK, Cottage Grove

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