Montana Teachers React to Arntzen

Guest Post from Concerned Montanans

On Thursday, Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen met with school principals from around Montana. It did not go well. The Great Falls Tribune has a great recap of Arntzen’s inability to answer about funding Pre-K and programs to boost graduation rates. Worse, she was given the questions in advance! We asked some Montana teachers for their thoughts, which you can find below.

Teachers React to Arntzen

We reached out to a few public school teachers we know about the disastrous Elsie Arntzen event in Great Falls. Here is what they had to say…

A high school teacher from Missoula said, “My initial impression is that this lady is hell bent on slashing education-related funding AND it seems like she’s a Sarah Palin clone when it comes to public speaking.” The same teach continued, “it is hard to even discern what points she was trying to make.”

A middle school teacher from Cascade County said, “I don’t want to prejudge Superintendent Arntzen, but…I think teachers need to start planning to fund crucial programs like Graduation Matters on the local level, instead of relying on financial support from her administration.”

On Arntzen’s refusal to commit to funding preschool, an elementary school teacher in Helena said, “Publically funded preschool is essential for all students. In today’s society, it is important that every child is afforded the opportunity to practice social skills and gain exposure to letters, shapes, and numbers before entering kindergarten. Without public preschool, these opportunities are not possible for some children.”

A special education instructor in the state said, “Ms. Arntzen’s inability to outline her priorities should concern all parents and teachers in Montana.” The same teacher note that “while it is nice that Ms. Arntzen’s parents were teachers, I find it hard to understand why this and other personal accolades were given as an answer to a question about her priorities as Superintendent of Public Instruction. ‘Putting students first’ may be a great tag line, but the campaign is over.”

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9 Comments on "Montana Teachers React to Arntzen"

  1. Quite odd methinks that a mere Socialist country like, say, Cuba could have a *higher* literacy rate than the USA.
    http://www.telesurtv.net/english/analysis/10-Things-to-Know-About-Revolutionary-Cubas-Literacy-Program-20160908-0007.html

    • Old Line Democrat | January 30, 2017 3:22 PM at 3:22 PM |

      Well they have totally secular schools and they were not subject to all of our current distractions like Facebook, video games and the like due to the embargo. Very difficult to compare apples and oranges when one group is using pencil and paper and the other laptops and the internet.

      • You obviously didn’t follow the link I provided. Your Strawman however is noted and mocked.

        • Old Line Democrat | January 31, 2017 2:16 PM at 2:16 PM |

          Wrong again. I did read the link and it supports my position even to the point of having a picture with a young girl with a pad and pencil. Whether you like it or not living in a free and open society allows people to make bad choices and suffer the consequences not do in a totalitarian country like Cuba. Sorry you are still misguided in your arguments.

  2. Honestly, when I read her response I thought I was hearing a “female Donald Trump clone.”

  3. In my opinion, Elsie Arntzen is in a trance, a holding pattern – waiting for confirmation of Betsy DeVos. Based on Arntzen’s responses to budget questions, she is eager to meet with the new DOE appointee… and she DOES NOT want cuts to her funding sources. That’s an odd position for a right-winger who almost certainly will cut the budgets on the Public School side. So why does she not want cuts to her funding sources? Clearly she wants all the money from her funding source pie – So her real goal is not overall cuts in spending, only cuts to the Public School budget. She will cut public education while steering dollars to charter schools.

    I predict Arntzen will pester DeVos to help her prepare a strategy for Vouchers (transfer of tax dollars to private schools) in Montana. Ms. Arntzen will want to know all the tricks in DeVos’s strategy book for making voucher schools happen. I believe vouchers are Elsie’s top priority; and her mission in life. The voucher issue is also tied to her social status on the new right; which means she will be wearing blinders during all discussions and debates.

    • Definately waiting for someone to tell her what to do. Maybe she should ask someone with some experience in education rather than volunteering to be a political puppet. There are good people in this state who have conservative values and still promote public education. Elsie, it’s time to do the job you were elected to do.

  4. How did this woman ever end with a teaching certificate and was allowed to teach our kids?

  5. Vouch This! Instead of Privateer charter schools (which are impossible in RURAL Montana/USA), I would charge citizens to SERVE on school boards, get engaged, TAKE CHARGE, as with Charters, accountability and OVERSIGHT paramount, LOCAL control essential and if the PUBLIC would get engaged and get off of American Idol (IDLE!), then we’d be better off.

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