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Letter to the editor

Teachers make students their top priority

After reading Cathy Staver’s “Sick and Tired” rant, I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry. Anyone who launches with, “I am so sick and tired of hearing that decisions made by the San Dieguito school board should have as its first priority our children” has completely lost sight of why the exceptional educators and administrators of our nationally-recognized school district do what they do every day. If the needs of our students aren’t the barometer by which every important educational decision is made, then what should be? The irony of her next sentence is as comedic as it is sad, “What about common sense?”

I agree with Staver there. Let’s use common sense.

Let’s start by trusting the acumen of educators who’ve chosen to devote their lives to making sure our children are prepared for the ever-changing landscape of modern society. Let’s not trust in someone whose evidence of what students need from an educational standpoint comes from an anecdotal classroom experience from 47 years ago.

You know what I’m sick and tired of? Hearing people with no experience educating young people telling teachers and administrators how they should do their jobs. I would no sooner tell a surgeon she should use her scalpel, nor tell a trial attorney when the appropriate time to lodge an objection would be, but by virtue of the fact that someone once sat in a classroom five decades ago, we should heed her “informed” opinion on best practices for teaching and learning? Please.

Staver lacks credibility, because the notion of putting children as our first priority is offensive to her when they are precisely the ones for whom we should be most concerned. Furthermore, she has aligned herself with board members Muir and Salazar, who’ve consistently demonstrated that they’re about as qualified to comment on what’s best for our community’s children as Staver. She applauds their decision to “thwart the taxpayer-approved Prop AA school infrastructures” and piggybacks Salazar’s recent contention in the Union-Tribune that “building new structures doesn’t provide better education.” Really, Mr. Salazar? The taxpayers of our community clearly don’t agree. They want schools to be innovative learning environments that prepare our kids for what’s next, not antiquated structures that no longer meet the evolving needs of the 21st-century learner.

Let’s use common sense. Let’s support our teachers who have, over many financially lean years, elevated our district to national prominence and inspired our young people to tackle the world with confidence. Let’s trust that they have their best interests at heart, as opposed to two board members who have yet to demonstrate that they’re putting our students first.

Dan Aposhian

Encinitas


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