Applause for teachers

The National Parent Teachers Association has designated May 5-11, as ``Teacher Appreciation Week.'' It is a splendid idea. There is an undeniable anti-school atmosphere pervading the air -- some of it justified, of course.

Parents and other taxpayers have read the surveys, the test scores, and the current crop of student themes and concluded that all is not well in the educational establishment.

Granting even the dreariest scenario, however, we rise to defend -- and praise -- the classroom teacher. Not all teachers are overworked and underpaid, but many of them are -- far too many, in fact, for a nation that owes so much to public education.

If this nation excels in high technology -- and it does -- it owes that record to classroom teachers who tap the wellsprings of the scientifically-bent students in the classroom. Even the strongest critics of public education must admit that whatever superiority this nation has in technology it owes to patient, inspired, and competent classroom teachers.

This is a time to let teachers know that their dedication is valued and that their expertise is recognized. Make a special effort to let your children's teachers know that they are valued and that you support their efforts to educate students in a very difficult time. -- The Indianapolis News

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