A Filipino Reader Says Teachers From His Country Are the Answer
March 04, 2006, 04:00 AM
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A Michigan Reader Says It's All a Shame

From: [Name Withheld]

Re: Joe Guzzardi's Columns: Our Schools To Import Filipino Teachers? and Temporary Workers—First, Computer Programmers; Next, American Teachers

I want you to know that I am a Filipino. You may feel I am biased regarding my countrymen but I know more about the Filipino educational system and the abilities of its graduates than Guzzardi does. I am a product of it.

Guzzardi doesn't trust the decision making process of Tokay High School principal Erik Sandstrom. But he doesn't offer any alternative to solve the teacher shortage problem and he has no idea on how the public education system is failing its students partly because of the teachers' poor performance. 

Does he think Sandstrom will just hire anybody because a Filipino-owned enterprise paid his travel expenses?

Second, there are no qualified math and science teachers in the U.S. because students prefer to pursue studies and work in fields other than education.

Filipinos are one of the hardest working people I know. Has Guzzardi ever been on a cruise?  He'd see plenty of hard working Filipinos.

When was the last time Guzzardi visited a hospital. Has he seen any Filipino doctors or nurses? Or does he know somebody who was in the hospital and was so happy to have a Filipino nurse?

Guzzardi is right about one thing.  We only go to the 10th grade then take a 4- year college course

Tell Guzzardi to take a cruise. I think it is the air in California that is causing a difference of opinion between him and me.

And after he comes back from his cruise, have him drop me a note, will you?

 

Joe Guzzardi replies: In the interest of journalistic thoroughness, I have asked Peter Brimelow to send me on an all expenses paid, extended cruise—I'm thinking the Hawaiian Islands—to verify the reader's claims regarding the Filipino work ethic.

All kidding aside, I don't need "Name Withheld" to tell me how hard Filipinos work. That is not the point.

What is the point is that no matter how hard newly arrived Filipino teachers work or how committed they are, they will be eaten alive in U.S. high school classes.

Since I am part of the California public education system, I know the Filipino teachers have no chance. And if they can't cut it, our kids won't make it either.

I also know all about the shortcomings of public education in the U.S. I work for the Lodi Unified School District, after all.

A long-term substitute is much better equipped to manage a classroom and teach than someone who has never been in the U.S., let alone teach in a California K-12 public school.

My suggestion is that the best and brightest Filipinos stay right where they are to help their own shattered country get back on its feet.