Paladino should seize chance to help students

With Buffalo developer Carl Paladino now on the School Board, many teachers may fear the worst. But not me.

No, I wonder if the tragic car accident death of his son in March 2009 won’t bring out a new attitude toward teachers and the children they serve, along with a surge of energy to tackle the increasing burdens brought to bear on the backs of public school teachers. Every parent shivers at the possible premature death of his child. Paladino is no exception. “We loved him so much and he was just really starting his life,” he said in the March 30, 2009, News.

Now Paladino has the chance to give to the children of Buffalo, who are just starting their lives, a real quality education. What a precious gift to the memory of his son.

He can oppose the demeaning and self-destructive evaluation of classroom instruction based on students’ standardized test scores. He can confront local and state officials who demand obedience to laws meant to privatize public education, and demand they fund Buffalo’s public schools without compliance to their corruption. Paladino can put away the fury and meet with those representing teachers and agree that, for all of us, the kids come first. That means freeing their teachers to instruct courses without being held accountable to standards that smother learning and bring death at an early age to creative thinking.

Now, is the accounting. As a good Catholic, Paladino knows that in this life we make our own choices, and in the next we live them.

Ray Peterson