Our Kids Deserve Better


I am not certain where to start explaining my disagreement with Los Alamos School Board candidate Paul Jaramillo and a recent post he published on Facebook.  There is so much. First and foremost, I have taught for over 37 years in Iowa at the high school and college levels. No one is trying to change the values of your children. What schools, and the folks who help develop policies at the state and local levels, do is implement policies that provide for the safety and best quality education possible. More than you realize, the teacher provides most of the curriculum. No one is pushing Marxist philosophy. Most teachers, school boards and departments of education are just trying to keep the ship afloat with services barely covering the astounding range of difficulties that kids come to school with these days. It’s not that we did not always have kids whose parents did not read to them or help them in early years or kids with a range of learning needs…we just have more as kids are not, thank goodness, kept home to help work the family farm or work to help the family survive. The somewhat homogenous classes and 1:18 teacher/ student ratios are a thing of the past. We have and teach in public schools, ALL KIDS! We can barely help teachers follow increasing numbers of IEPs, use the newer complex computer programs for grades and attendance and manage the ever increasing demands of larger classes. How the heck can we get everyone on the same page to teach some subversive curriculum?Edito

Do we want Parent input and assistance, YES. But, we simply do not have the time to meet the emotional and social needs of parents and their political interest groups. Our job, and I cannot state this firmly enough, is to teach YOUR CHILDREN what has been proven to help them have learning, work and citizenship skills beyond the more protected environment of school. Every day teachers are counseling, teaching, preparing lessons, revising lessons (to make them more effective or to individualize them), calming social tensions, preparing special learning opportunities, managing the physical and social aspects of classrooms, recording data to help us make more informed decisions, keeping kids safe, learning…learning…learning…teaching…teaching…teaching. There is barely enough time to use the restroom. So, if you think anyone outside the school is managing to insert some nefarious plan to usurp parental influence or change the curriculum to Marxism you are delusional. 

If you don’t want kids to wear masks or receive vaccinations there are other school options. Do not try, through school board policy, to make all kids bend to your individual ideas. In schools we respect that everyone comes with different religious beliefs. Do not try to impose yours on all kids. No one in our schools is teaching CRT. Please stop using that as a rally cry. School boards set policy and effective ones do not interfere with the complex work of school staff. Most support that work. I want a school board who does just that…support.

Please stop trying to divide us all in a time when all our kids need us to work together. Your divisive and ill informed rhetoric is doing serious harm. If your goal is to destroy teacher morale and public schools that serve all children you are on that path. I beg you to stop.

I also beg folks to get out and vote. Some candidates on the fringe are praying the voter numbers are low. So many schools have been thrown into chaos by one rogue school board member who speaks nonsense and does not understand the legal obligations and limits of board authority. They promise massive changes and end up just dividing and creating larger problems. Please do not let that happen here. Our kids deserve better.

Shannon Cde Baca