Letters to the Editor: June 3, 2021
Unions, Democrats solidify control of local schools
Your May 27 edition led off with school board election results and the trend toward more liberal members.
In a perfect world, the school boards should be focused on the best results for the students. From time to time, the school boards anywhere will be in some degree of conflict with the teachers unions. The best result would be an even balance of power, the union, which by definition is only concerned with members working conditions and compensation, and the board, only concerned with the students success and safety.
When I reviewed the Voters Guide recently, and I was primarily concerned with the Beaverton School District, I frequently saw a rather notable difference between candidates. Some were concerned with the district's current approach to race, gender, sexuality and the reluctance of the teachers' unions to person-to-person instruction. Those candidates failed to receive any endorsements by the Oregon Education Association, the Beaverton Education Association or the Washington Democratic Party. Those candidates, both endorsed and heavily financed by those three organizations, were elected.
So, if anyone mistakenly thinks that the schools, their curriculum and culture are not dominated by the teachers unions and legislators controlled by those unions, need to look no further than the proposal for Oregon high school seniors no longer having to demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing and math and considering a requirement to take one civics class to graduate.
The next big win by the teachers unions will be on reopening schools in September. The negotiations are beginning already by the unions on maximum class sizes — which means "small," which means "more teachers," which means more members.
The only two groups that lose are students and taxpayers.
Please think before you vote, on any issue, on any candidate.
Larry Sitter, Rock Creek
Dismayed by local schools' approach to teaching about race
It saddens me to hear the critical race theory is becoming in vogue at the Tigard-Tualatin School District.
I remember some years ago when I was a first-grader at Lafayette Elementary School in Washington, D.C. My teacher was a kindly African American woman, Mrs. Whiteley, who taught me how to read. I don't know if she is still alive, but, if she is, I will have to ask her if she thought I was a born racist white male oppressor. I suspect she would say no.
That being said, should present-day students be taught that our current system serves only whites and Asians and fails blacks?
Before we answer that question, we should ask if the system failed Barack Obama, Ben Carson, Oprah Winfrey, LeBron James, Justice Thurgood Marshall, Justice Clarence Thomas and a host of other successful African Americans.
Scott Holland, Tigard
Get gas leaf blowers out of Portland and Washington County
I am relatively new to Portland and was drawn here by its reputation as a livable city. One thing I did not expect in moving here from a bigger city was the terrible impact on Portland's quality of life caused by noise and pollution from gas leaf blowers.
I get around the area almost completely by foot and bike. I feel fortunate to have the mobility to avoid the noise and emissions of gas leaf blowers that I encounter daily. I was pleased to hear about the recent Oregon House Committee on Energy and Environment's recent informational hearing on House Bill 3023, a bill to ban the use of these devices within any urban growth boundary in Oregon encompassing more than 300,000 people (which essentially means the Portland urban growth boundary). This can't come soon enough.
I am also aware of the 2019 Portland City Council resolution to stop purchasing these terrible machines, as well as interest on the part of both the Multnomah and Washington County boards of commissioners to stop the harm these devices cause to the health of workers, the public, and our environment.
Might your newspaper help move these efforts forward to enhance our quality of life by starting a campaign? And to my fellow community residents, if this problem troubles you, please contact your county commissioner and ask for prompt action to eliminate gas leaf blowers.
Thank you for supporting efforts to improve our quality of life.
Matt Morrissey, Portland
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