Idaho politics: Teacher, former GOP lawmaker, rips Students Come First

If Idaho voters want to know the true effects of state superintendent Tom Luna's Students Come First education overhaul, they should ask teachers.

That's the assessment of one 20-year teacher, Mark Snodgrass, a Meridian Republican who served in the Idaho House of Representatives from 2002 to 2008.

Here's an excerpt of his guest opinion:

"Who is better to determine what is in the best interest of your children?

"A career politician who has never been a teacher or administrator, has a bachelor's degree in weights and measures from an unaccredited online university, and who has received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from online education providers?

"Or career educators, who have dedicated their lives to teaching children, who continue to provide quality services despite reductions in salaries, benefits, and working conditions, and who have been vilified by state leaders for opposing these policies that discount and disrespect them as professionals."

Here's a link to the full guest opinion.

Just as Luna

is completely out of touch with the education system in this state, so is the state legislature. They continue to pass educational laws they know nothing about while leaving education laws on the books that were ruled unconstitutional as far back as 1964.
They are so bent upon destroying the teachers and the proven system of educating our children, that in their zeal to do so, they will do unrepairable damage to the educational process.

Snodgrass fails

Parents would be the obvious answer to who knows what is in the best interest of their children.

In a perfect world...

...you would be correct. Unfortunately, a majority of parents, by the time their kids hit high school, are pretty disconnected. Ask any teacher what percentage of parents bother to attend parent/teacher conferences. Knowing what's good for your child doesn't mean you understand what is the best way to educate them. Many Idaho parents would advocate the 3 R's rather than spending the day with a laptop. Owning an automobile would not mean that you know best how to repair it.

Back in the olden days when

Back in the olden days when I was a public school student there were no parent-teacher conferences unless a parent, a teacher, or a principal requested one, which was usually not a good sign for the student. In fact, my parents never set foot on school property until the day my sister and I graduated from high school, but if you think they didn't care about our education, that they never looked at the papers we brought home, didn't encourage us to do our best and go on to college (which we both did), you would be very wrong.

agree

And this parent
-thinks online learning is an important part of the future of education,
-is anti-union, and
-says teachers should be paid their market salary within our budget, such as more for math and science teachers.

Snodgrass disingenuous

He would be more believable if he didn't receive salary increases during the downturn when other state workers were seeing reductions (you can find his salary history online). I also looked at the sunshine reports of many legislators and found few that received campaign contributions from private education companies, he makes it sound like the vast majority of our legislators have been purchased somehow. Maybe it would be a good idea for Kevin to actually do some research on just how many have received these so called "buy out" donations from the private education sector so we can hear some truth on this issue.
And, I don't understand why Teachers feel they are the only people looking out for educating the children, don't we elect school board members to oversee the overall program of education, health and safety in our districts? It sure is easier for me to hold one of them accountable than a non-elected union member!