THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
CHARTER SCHOOLS: FERTILE GROUND

An insult to teachers who work to fulfill mission

November 22, 2010

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IN RESPONSE to Junia Yearwood, who calls the school where she taught an “academic orphanage’’ (“The dumping ground,’’ Op-ed, Nov. 15), I respectfully offer the following:

Charter schools may not legally “disinvite’’ students. Non-charter schools may not do so either. However, when non-charter schools, through various excuses, refuse to meet the needs of atypical students, they drive them to charter schools.

If Yearwood felt called to teach at a non-charter school, that is great. However, she should not labor under the misguided notion that charter school students do not need dedicated teachers. It is an insult to charter school teachers, who willingly sacrifice union protections to work unbelievably long hours to fulfill the mission of their charter. They too are meeting the needs of students who could not get their needs met elsewhere. They too are answering a call, and a noble one. I am grateful for charter school teachers every single day, as they help my sons in countless ways to reach their potentials.

By accepting the label of “dumping ground’’ for her school, Yearwood did her students a terrible disservice. Students rise to the level of our expectations for them. Yearwood’s attitude promotes a victimhood mentality, which will never help any student in the long run.

Kathy Tamburri
Clinton