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Letter: Teachers and parents are failing our children

Teachers and parents are failing our children

So finally, after 12 years, those hardworking, dedicated teachers in Buffalo have a new contract. Only in America could a group that has failed so miserably to educate those poor souls who have been put in their trust receive a reward.

While I fully realize the clock only moves forward, I long for the days of my youth when teachers were underpaid, but somehow managed to help produce functioning adults who could, for the most part, write, spell, speak and tell you the location of India. Back in the good old days, teachers looked the part as they dressed like professionals, i.e., suits and dresses. Watching the line of today’s teachers walking into Kleinhans reminded me of refugees streaming across some border their students couldn’t locate.

Before those who live in the suburbs start gloating, I would like to remind them that even our top students cannot hold a candle to the graduates of most of the free world. So the next time you all sit back and congratulate yourselves as parents and teachers about what a great job you are doing, don’t forget the real facts of life: Our children will pay as you count your new raise and you opt out of that exam that would reveal that there really is a bell curve.

Sadly, what’s needed to change course is to raise the standards at teacher colleges, as was done in Europe, and convince parents that shielding their child from the stresses of being challenged will lead to adults unable to cope with the requirements of a modern society. While I am an optimist at heart, I think this is a bridge too far for today’s parents and administrators.

Hank Olejniczak


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