Gov. Paul LePage blames public school teachers for the failure of students to learn and succeed.

In the many years my boys have been in the public schools, I have been very grateful for the things we have learned from their teachers and the generous acts I have witnessed.

My children’s teachers have been creative in teaching them an array of topics. I also have seen school staff spend their own money to buy some students food for snacks, lunch or supplies that they lack, find them warm coats and support kids when no one else is there for them.

It also has been my observation that the students who succeed in school tend to be the ones whose families are involved in their school life. These are the parents, grandparents or guardians who show up for meetings and parent-teacher conferences. They are there cheering at plays, concerts or sporting events. They volunteer for fundraisers to support their children’s activities or take food to debate or math meets.

I surmise that, at home, they also help their children understand the importance of doing homework, getting to school on time and taking responsibility for their education.

Every school can find ways in which to improve students’ education. Our teachers and school staff, however, are not getting the praise they deserve or enough acknowledgment for all they do.

We should be honoring, instead of degrading, our teachers’ works. It appears to me that family support is a more obvious variable between a successful child and one that flounders.

Instead of mandating more testing as a measure of improvement, we should put more emphasis on helping families understand the powerful influence they have on their child’s success in school.

Peggy Barnes, Readfield

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