So teacher education programs are worthless? So claims the writer of the June 24 letter, “Bringing rigor to teaching teachers.” I hope those who know about education will find this letter not only offensive, but also quite untrue.

Has the writer taken a college-level course in education in Northeast Ohio? Is he a teacher? Has he been in a school?

I invite him to visit a college of education, sit in on classes, read syllabi, read the books and texts that pre-service teachers read, take Praxis tests and observe classes in public schools.

I believe he would be quite amazed at the quality, intelligence, integrity, scholarship and dedication that pre-service teachers possess. He would see the dedication, knowledge and skill of professors of education.

I suggest the writer take the time — probably four years to six years — to get a degree in education, student teach (and quit his current job to do so for no pay, as most students do) and spend a few years in a classroom. Then he can tell me what he thinks.

Our next generation of children will be in the hands of excellent, caring, wonderful teachers who will have spent many hours, written many papers, read many books and interned for many hours before becoming teachers. Few occupations require the rigor that becoming a teacher requires.

The National Council on Teacher Quality report, by the way, was funded by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a strong opponent of public schools and avid supporter of for-profit charter schools and vouchers.

The writer should do his homework on the background of this report before throwing stones at the most important profession there is. No one would have any profession without teachers.

Susan Kelewae

Massillon

Editor’s note: Kelewae is an adjunct professor of education at Kent State and professor of art education at the University of Mount Union.

Surprised in ?Highland Square

I don’t live anywhere close to Highland Square. I don’t much care for loud, over-amped rock music. I knew I would be a tired, old misfit when I accepted an invitation to attend the PorchRokr event there recently. I knew I wouldn’t be much at home and would be subjected to sights and sounds not in my comfort zone. Boy, was I wrong.

The 80-some bands assembled on the festooned old porches offered a variety of music that fit any and every musical agenda. Lots of rock for sure, but country-western, American folk and blues (thank you, Fast Molasses) and spirituals, enough to please any listening ear. I found plenty to keep my weak ears tuned and my aching toes tapping.

And the welcoming neighborhood crowd was a comfortable surprise. There was a small police presence. They must have been bored stiff at the orderliness of the day.

The thousands of folks, from toddlers to old geeks like me, were in summer picnic mode. They came in all shapes, colors, sizes, ages and life styles, blending into one big community celebration.

If the world could have been Highland Square on that day, there would truly have been peace on earth.

Thomas E. Giffels

Akron

Celebrate our patriots

In a few days, we will celebrate the most important day in the history of our great nation, Independence Day.

That day falls on July 4, and if we pay attention to the media, advertising and numerous celebrations, they appear to be celebrating the Fourth of July.

We have only one Independence Day. Thousands of patriots have given their lives to make our nation independent and maintain our independence. We should recognize their sacrifices and celebrate them.

Ron Duecker

Wooster