Cantor: to protest or not to protest? That is the question.

It is quite obvious that those in control of the current state governments, especially like Arizona, don’t give a damn for quality education. They give us charter schools that do not require teachers to have course work in learning, let alone requiring competency and mastery of the subject that they are hired to teach.

Fact is the charter school lobby, bolstered by the Koch brothers and their American Legislative Exchange Council friends, have managed to convince the far right Tea Party that education, especially higher education, is not really and asset and could possibly be un-American.

Some are encouraging the current walkouts as an effort to weaken public education and close down schools. You walk out or strike and it coincides with state-required tests then the individual school will suffer because tests won’t be taken or graded and well, you get it. Scores for schools will drop.

This pits school districts, students, parents and teachers against one another and that makes the far right so giddy with delight.

It should not be this way.

Teachers who went to university to learn to help kids become successful learners and contributing citizens as well as gain proficiency in the subject area they want to teach deserve way better than what we have given them.

You can tell they have done their job well by some of the atrocious things ALEC and the Tea Party come up with to argue against better funding for education across the board. Just look at everything they do to de-fund the classroom.

And the far right then complains our lagging education system is all the fault of teachers!?!? We have done a particularly crappy job of civic responsibility since the upheavals of the late 60s and 70s.

Creating awareness of how our government functions and what is required to keep it running to the benefit of all our citizens, was dropped as an important subject to be taught at any level of education.

Think about this, for over 20 years polling has shown that residents of Arizona would approve having their taxes raised if the raise was for education.

And think about this, in almost every election we have managed to put people into office at the Legislature who are paid by lobbyists to vote against raising taxes for things like education, which is the main factor in improving the quality of life for the whole community.

Well, I have marched, protested loudly, sat in and even, a few years back, was arrested for protesting. Hey, I am so well versed at protesting for education I have been asked to present at a couple of universities and nonprofits on the topic of non-violent civil disobedience. No joke.

They say everything old is new again — especially if we ignore history and repeat the same mistakes.

Editor’s note: Ms. Cantor is a Scottsdale resident and longtime community advocate

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