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Kaneshiki’s remarks ill-advised, wrong

Recently Hollidaysburg Area Superintendent Robert Gildea asked the Hollidaysburg Area School Board to approve a temporary kindergarten teaching position to keep kindergarten classes manageable at Foot of Ten Elementary School.

Gildea was concerned that excessive class sizes would reduce individual interaction between teachers and students and would make learning more difficult, especially for those coming to school without the benefit of strong home preparation.

Four of the five board members present agreed with Gildea, but the recommendation failed because of a no vote cast by Lois Kaneshiki. According to a Mirror reporter, Kaneshiki equated kindergarten teachers with baby sitters and suggested that their value was overrated because her daughter had taught herself to read.

Kaneshiki’s ill-advised remarks were not only a grave disservice to dedicated kindergarten teachers everywhere but were also an embarrassment to the school district she was elected to represent. It goes without saying that parents and children expect better of their elected officials, and we trust that, upon reflection, Kaneshiki will come to see the folly of such pronouncements. Maybe she will even offer an apology.

We truly hope that she does. If not, we urge the Hollidaysburg Area School Board to affirm at its next public meeting its belief that quality early childhood education is indispensable to a bright future and a world of opportunity.

Jim Murphy

Hollidaysburg Area

Education Association

President, Hollidaysburg

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