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Your Views: Keep experienced teachers; educate kids year-round

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November 26, 2013

Knowledge is crucial to the success—in some cases, survival—of any society. And so, the loss of so many experienced teachers is of utmost concern.

Yes, new, young teachers may offer certain energy. But no amount of energy can compare to experience. And experience lost can take years to recover.

While our children are learning what they can from well-meaning teachers as they, too, are learning, students elsewhere are forging ahead. “Elsewhere” may mean other nations, for not only are we faced with the loss of experienced teachers but we already have a system that is inferior to that of many nations. Worldwide, the U.S. spends the fourth most on per-student education and by far the most on college education. Yet we rank 17th overall in education. Can we afford to fall farther behind?

We do ourselves no favor by encouraging experienced teachers to retire for whatever reason. We ought not to sacrifice our children’s education or our nation’s future by disparaging a profession that should be seen as honorable. That in itself is ignorant.

Currently, the U.S. has one of the shortest school years in the world. If I were king, we would have year-round education. Studies show that while half of parents favor a year-round schedule before it is introduced, nearly 80 percent favor it afterward.

So why not switch to year-round education? Some argue, because of the added costs. But what about the cost of providing a mediocre education? Can we afford that?

DONALD ALLISON

Janesville



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