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The War on on teachers and good sportsmanship in Sunday's Forum

Staff Report • Sep 18, 2013 at 9:52 AM

State Sen. Rusty Crowe, R-Johnson City, is right to be disappointed in the recent changes to how Tennessee’s teachers are paid — as he wrote in his Aug. 23 column under the headline, “Board of Education’s rushed decision was irresponsible.” We’re disappointed, too — even outraged — but Crowe is late to the party.Until recently, he’s been a loyal vote in the War on Teachers coming out of Nashville. He’s disappointed teachers for years with votes that have made teaching more difficult in Tennessee. The changes that Crowe is criticizing actually are bad for teachers and for students. They create a hostile work environment in your child’s classroom, one where you can be passed over for a raise or lose your job over a single test. What Crowe left out of his column is that things didn’t get worse in our schools with a single vote. Things have gotten worse because Crowe goes to Nashville every year and votes to strip power away from teachers and focus more class time on endless tests. Thanks to Crowe, teachers can no longer negotiate for better working conditions. He’s voted for an unfair evaluation system that punishes teachers by taking away raises and even firing teachers if they fail a single evaluation. Teachers do everything they can so their students succeed, but sometimes parents won’t take responsibility for their child’s education. Crowe voted to punish teachers when that happens.Crowe has also voted to arm teachers with guns instead of hiring SROs. As if preparing students for the workforce weren’t enough, now teachers have to be police officers. There really is a War on Teachers in Nashville. I just hope Crowe is serious about switching sides.JANET L. MEEKJohnson CityGood sportsmanshipOn Sept. 3, University High School played its rival Elizabethton High School in a soccer game, beating it 2-0. In the last 3 minutes of play, our granddaughter was injured and could not get off the bench when the game ended. Every player from the Elizabethton team came to the bench to high-five her or hug her. Great show of sportsmanship. I was impressed.CONNIE BRIGHTLimestone

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