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[Susan notes: When politicians say stupid things, we need people like Joan to call them on it. And to point out, as Joan does, that such ignorance hurts kids.]

Submitted to Springfield (MA) Republican but not published

To the editor

Someone needs to teach our governor how public school systems work to educate everyone. It is highly doubtful that he understands what the underperforming label means. He appeared clueless when he told the Holyoke Lynch Middle School students, "It doesn't mean anything about you guys. It has to do with the guys in ties and ladies with dresses." What a harmful message to the children and to everyone in the Holyoke Public Schools and community who have been working on school improvement issues the past few years. His comments may well lead to distrust between the students and the adults who work with them. Undoubtedly, the students know that the label underperforming affects them and their school. Students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community members are all part of the problem, and they must be part of the solution to bring meaningful change. Governor Romney's negative remarks did not make him "cool" with the students. They showed his lack of understanding about the challenges in public education.

Joan Samuels Kaiser

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