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Return education to the basics

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Education has become a serious problem across our country. However, I don’t believe throwing more money at the problem is the answer. Our education once was the best in the world. That was before the Department of Education was created and the federal government got involved with mandates that offered long-term problems with short-term funding. Teacher unions have been very harmful, too. I am for paying teachers a good salary if they are competent and giving raises accordingly. I don’t think you can always judge a teacher by the tests the children take. Each school district has an entirely different set of problems and no one solution works for all. The No Child Left Behind policy sounded good but it is teaching children to take a test and not teaching them so that they learn. It is time to bring education back to the local level with a local school board of parents, a strong principal in each school and eliminate all the administrative positions that are highly paid but have no effect on our children’s education. We don’t need fancy schools but I do believe we should bring the arts back to schools — music — band — art — choirs — shop — home economics, etc. Our current education has become top heavy and the money is not spent where it should be on teachers, books and classrooms. We need to stop being politically correct and teach the basics in math, science, English and history. These are so important for our children in order for them to survive in the future. Ann Laman, Auburn