The Free Press editorial ("Union fails teachers," Nov. 1) was an insult to educators in Tennessee. TEA and NEA exist to support and advocate for Tennessee's educators and students. The association has a strong history of supporting public education in Chattanooga.
NEA, TEA and HCEA worked to provide $35,000 for a mentoring program to help new teachers. Additional funds were used for incentives and support for experienced teachers to pursue National Board Certification. This paper highlighted that successful partnership in a front page story ("Teachers raise the bar," Nov. 10 ).
The association also collaborated with local schools to secure $2.5 million for improving student performance in middle schools. That partnership narrowed the achievement gap in reading by 13 percent and in math by 10.5 percent.
Members' dues provide a full-time staff person in Chattanooga and year-round professional development opportunities, among other benefits. And yes, we advocate for education policies that will achieve the best results for students, based on the experience of our members who work with those students every day.
Tennessee educators are free to join any professional organization, or none at all. More than 40,000 choose TEA because they want a strong voice in education policy, and a strong advocate on workplace issues.
GERA SUMMERFORD, President, TEA, DENNIS VAN ROCKEL, President, NEA
Your letter writer of Nov. 19 must have slept through her American government class. Prosecutors do not sentence defendants, only judges do that.
As to the remainder of her letter, I sat through the Matthews family sentencing, (which she very obviously did not) and listened to the litany of federal felonies they committed in the criminal aid of their escaped prisoner son/brother.
Judge Mattice was gracious in the low sentences he passed down in this matter. My regret is that Jesse is not being tried in federal court where he belongs. The multistate nature of his crimes deserves, maybe demands, a federal trial. In federal court his lawyers would not be gaming the system as they now are doing, in an attempt to stall off the trial. In federal court they would have a great opportunity to speak to the excellent prosecutors and judge who dealt with the remainder of this lawless, vicious family.
WAYNE H. SMITH
In Tuesday's Free Press editorial ("What's killing NASCAR?") you stated that the NFL is weathering the recession aftermath just fine. Why, then, are many empty seats seen at televised NFL games this season? It's getting to be almost as bad as the number of empty seats at almost every televised NBA game.
(I know that many of the empty seats represent season ticket holders who didn't show up for the game, but empty seats don't pay the exorbitant prices for concessions and parking.)
KIRK BUBUL, Kimball, Tenn.