The Free Press, Mankato, MN

October 31, 2013

Teacher comment speaks to teacher quality


The Mankato Free Press

---- — A comment by Minnesota’s 2013 Teacher of the Year, “.. teachers are American democracy’s last line of defense against the tyranny of the 1 percent,” begs the question — whose job is it to educate in Minnesota?

Our excellent teachers throughout the state are one of our greatest assets. The focus on teacher quality is one of the things I took seriously when elected state senator.

This statement by Hall shows we still have a way to go.

Hall is under false impression our government is a democracy. We are a Constitutional Republic. Both use democratic processes to elect representatives and pass legislation but are very different. A Republic is representative government ruled by law (Constitution) where sovereignty resides in people. A Democracy is government ruled by the majority (mob rule).

A Republic recognizes the unalienable rights of individuals while Democracies are only concerned with group wants or needs for the good of the public.

A commonly used analogy is, “Two wolves and a lamb are trying to decide what’s for lunch … that’s democracy. In Republics the lamb is protected from the wolves.” Our founding fathers understood the only entity that can take away people’s freedom is their own government, either by being too weak to protect them from external threats or by becoming too powerful and taking over every aspect of life.

Like a Republic the responsibility for education is yours; the individual.

Get involved. Speak up. Don’t just hand your kids off and expect government to educate your children — that’s your job! It’s your job to challenge teachers like Ms. Hall who don’t know the difference and support the many fine teachers that do.

Al DeKruif

Madison Lake