Quality education? What quality education?

To the editor:

Gov. Jim Gibbons came out with more of his money saving ideas, not all of which I agree with (Thursday Review-Journal). But the one that caught my eye, and should have caught the eyes of all Nevadans, was his argument about cuts and changes in education.

In response to Gov. Gibbons, Democrat legislators immediately started the old mantra of, "We are not going to sacrifice quality education!" It brings up the question I've asked over and over again: What "quality" education are they referring to?

Dropout rates are still appalling, and more and more kids are getting "Certificates of Attendance" instead of high school diplomas. Our kids are fairing worse and worse on math and English tests.

And, of course, let us not forget the teachers are demanding more and more money, when everyone else is tightening his belt in bad economic times.

Having been a teacher, I can say that if I had done what the union demanded, I would have spent a lot more time arguing for money than I would have providing kids with a better education. As it was, I chose a higher road and gave my students the best education I could.

My greatest retirement gift was when a student I had in a previous year talked to me at length about a class I had taught him. I had the greatest sense of pride in what he remembered. Teaching for the sake of teaching had been my reward, and I still earned a living wage that was more than the parents of the kids I taught had made.

Phil Collins