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Address poverty first

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Donna Martinez’s resentment toward teachers who gain career status and receive due process before they can be fired is misplaced (Ideas column, July 6). She should not try to end fairness for teachers but should demand similar fairness in the workplace for herself and others.

Unions used to help protect union and non-union workers from being summarily fired, since employers feared unionization. Corporations have outsourced so many middle-class jobs that workers today live in fear of being fired. Major changes in corporate governance are needed to make the workplace fair.

Half of teachers leave the profession in the first five years. They are treated by Republicans with such disrespect that fewer are training to be teachers. I was a teacher and a social worker who served the poor. Teachers are not the problem. Poverty is. Living in poverty helps destroy the capacity of children’s brains to learn. North Carolina has more children in poverty than most states. We need to address poverty and treat teachers well if schools are to get better.

Barbara Sloan


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