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.”