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TEACH FOR AMERICA
Leave teaching to the pros — not the dabblers
Whether or not Teach for America should be involved in Minnesota classrooms is basically a question of whether teaching is a profession or an act of charity. Like the Peace Corps, TFA’s young people take a couple of years off, get some minimal training, then rush into tough situations trying to do a little good for the world. Great idea, but is your child’s school a Third World country? Probably not, and you don’t want your student taught by what are essentially short-term volunteers. OK, maybe there are some public schools in America that are like Third World countries. One could argue that these are the schools most in need of committed, experienced professionals rather than a series of well-meaning kids taking a break from law school. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my students treated as charity cases.
LESLEY HENDRICKSON, Minneapolis
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It’s truly sad but unsurprising to learn that Education Minnesota President Tom Dooher and the State Teaching Board will do what is necessary to derail the licensing for a few dozen new Teach For America college grads under the guise of protecting teacher standards in Minnesota. This is despite their supposed support for alternative licensing that passed in the state Legislature a couple of years ago. It just underscores for me that this 50,000-strong organization will do whatever it takes to support their own at the expense of poorly performing schools that continue to fail to make progress.
AL MUERHOFF, Bloomington
How can we trust
Let’s assume the best-case scenario: The government is truly collecting and storing a billion private conversations a day solely for the purpose of fighting terrorism and keeping us safe (despite the fact the system failed to stop Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the man already on the terrorist watch list). Perhaps the National Security Agency is staffed completely with professionals who would never think of doing anything inappropriate with your personal conversations or sent pictures (despite numerous accounts of Transportation Safety Administration agents groping folks, and at least one count of an agent “inappropriately touching himself behind the X-ray machine). Perhaps the Obama administration is truly using its power in our best interests. What about the next person we elect? Or the one after that? Will you continue to trust your government with this power the next time we elect a right-wing president?
LUKE POWELL, Circle Pines, Minn.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.