The sun rose in the west! It must have, as I am in agreement with M.D. Harmon in regard to education funding (“Reform, not more money, for schools,” July 8). First time for everything I guess.

I read Claire Berkowitz’s July 18 Maine Compass (“Maine Children’s Alliance supports Stand Up for Students question”) in support of Question 2 on the fall ballot. I fully agree that education is the key to our future. The simple solution of throwing more money at it is not a viable solution. We have been doing that, as Harmon has said. Expenditures have grown much more than the number of students has declined.

The result continues to get worse. Continuing to do the same thing (more money) expecting a different result is the definition of stupid. More money may be necessary but only when we know what the problem is. Berkowitz and the education advocates will not agree that our teachers are providing a low quality education.

So, why are so many of our children failing? I suggest that we really don’t know. Our problem is that the analysis has been political; just implement better standards and/or make teacher compensation results-oriented. In the case of standards, we’ve been down that road a few times.

It is way past time to stop with the political cures. They are expensive and useless. It is time to do a real analysis of the problem. It must begin with understanding what is happening to our children before they get to school, as well as what role their family plays once they are in school. And of course we should determine to what extent teacher improvement practices work (or don’t work).

How much worse does it have to get?

Dean Crocker

Estero, Florida,

and Manchester

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