Sunday, May 19, 2013
By DENNIS CARON
The Maine Sunday Telegram recently published a substantial article by reporter Colin Woodard, and the Press Herald followed it up with an editorial, suggesting an improper coziness between companies operating in the virtual school industry and Maine politicians. The paper's concern for adverse influence in public education seems a bit late and narrow in focus.
While citing its concern for the adverse effects of money and political influence on education policy, the Press Herald strangely ignores the organization that is "Number One" for pouring money and influence into the "political system" that controls public education. For 30 plus years, this organization has exerted substantial influence on our politicians while billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent. During that period, education spending has outpaced inflation but results have declined. Why no "investigation" into this situation? Could it be the paper skips over it because that organization is the MEA (aka Teachers Union)?
The paper does not question how the MEA has perpetually advocated for more spending and perpetually objected to accountability, nor does it question the MEA couching its objectives as being driven only by the public's interest while ignoring that it is in fact a union representing its own interest.
The public is not well served by the MEA encouraging more spending on a system that does not work well, and the public is also is not well served by a newspaper that investigates and exposes the "mouse" while ignoring the "elephant."
Yes, we absolutely have good and great teachers, but we also have some terrible teachers. Thanks to the MEA, we can't pay the good ones what they deserve and we can't fire the bad ones. I look forward to the Press Herald "investigation" into how this and other MEA policies like it serve the public interest.
Dennis Caron is a resident of Cumberland.