Let's Teach Students, Not "Inspire" Them
Charles Ayer, Vernon
The Courant's lead Opinion articles on education [Nov. 25, "Inspiring Students" and "Connecticut School Woefully Underfunded, Formula Broken" were not data-based and were utterly misguided.
Between 1970 and 2009, the number of students per full-time equivalent teacher in the US fell from 22.3 to 15.4. Between 1970 and 2005, spending per pupil in constant year dollars doubled, from $4,500 a student to $9,000 a student. We are obviously spending plenty of money and we arguably have too many teachers.
I graduated from public high school in 1971. I never felt that my education was impeded by an overcrowded classroom and I had consistently outstanding teachers. The weak ones were weeded out pretty quickly. I was taught how to read and write and was given a firm grounding in history, mathematics and the sciences. I studied two languages and was exposed to the beautiful worlds of art and music.
My classmates and I were imparted knowledge that made us useful and valuable. We went on to become doctors, lawyers, tradesmen, businesswomen, engineers and entrepreneurs. We were not peddled drivel about "learning how to learn" or "learning how to ask questions, not answer them."
In order to move forward, we must go back -- to basics.