Lessons on Dress
In reference to Gary Stager's blog on The Pulse: Education's Place for Debate, www.DistrictAdministration.com/pulse, ("One Lesson Teach for America Missed," April 21, 2008), I can't tell you how strongly I agree with you! Teachers often cry about not being treated or paid as professionals, yet they continually dress otherwise. This phenomenon is not isolated to our new or young teachers either. I see veteran teachers every day wearing jeans in schools.
As administrators, we cannot insist on any dress code for our teachers. Once again, our teachers union does more to hurt the profession than help it. We shouldn't have to. Professionalism should be instilled in us during our training to become professionals.
Sandy Wagner, technology coordinator, Auburn (N.Y.) Enlarged City School District
I think you should be careful of judging an organization based on one member. I'm sure Teach for America was involved in the taping of the show. On a corps member's first day of training in TFA, professional dress is required. Visit any of Teach for America's summer training institutes (Philadelphia, New York, Houston, Phoenix) and you will see that professional dress (not merely "smart casual") is required, not recommended. At a corps member's placement site, it is often left to the school's policies. However, in this case, if facts were checked, I'm sure TFA had recommended repeatedly to this corps member to change her attire before someone's rather creative idea of putting her on a television show came into place.
Native Indian Culture
Thank you for the gracious words in the article on rural school challenges at the Kayenta (Ariz.) Unified School District ("Achieving against the Odds," May 2008). It's refreshing and informative.
We would like you to come out and visit our community to experience the beauty of the Native American culture and geography.
Alex Martinez, superintendent, Kayenta (Ariz.) Unified School District
I think the school Gary Stager mentions in his article ("Learning Shall Not Interfere with School!" April 23, 2008) on The Pulse: Education's Place for Debate, www.DistrictAdministration.com/pulse, reacted too harshly!
Our district is facing $4.5 million in cuts next year. Our high school students organized a walkout to protest California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's cuts in education. The students who are usually complacent felt empowered having their voices heard. I'm proud that our district's leadership spoke with the 500-plus students and supported the walkout, calling it an extracurricular activity. My daughter was among the students who walked four miles across town to participate in the rally directed at Sacramento's politicians. I've never been more proud of her. Because of this event, she and her peers are now taking a more active role in following the politics of our state!
Diana Kenney, acting curriculum technology integration coach, Alameda (Calif.) Unified School District
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