Sunset Elementary School teacher Cheryl Arnett (left) and Mark Ferrandino, Colorado House of Representatives minority leader, participated Tuesday in a conference call organized by President Barack Obama's re-election campaign. Both responded to recent comments made by Obama's presumed opponent in the upcoming election, Mitt Romney, concerning jobs for teachers, firefighters and police officers.

Sunset Elementary School teacher Cheryl Arnett (left) and Mark Ferrandino, Colorado House of Representatives minority leader, participated Tuesday in a conference call organized by President Barack Obama's re-election campaign. Both responded to recent comments made by Obama's presumed opponent in the upcoming election, Mitt Romney, concerning jobs for teachers, firefighters and police officers.

Local teacher weighs in for Obama campaign

At a glance ...

• Sunset Elementary School teacher Cheryl Arnett was invited to speak Tuesday morning during a conference call with President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

• The call followed remarks Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made Friday at a campaign rally in Iowa.

• The Obama campaign contends Romney intends to cut jobs for firefighters, police officers and teachers.

• Arnett: Teaching critical thinking and problem-solving skills is vital in light of new technology.

Quotable

“Children are growing up right now with so much technology and access to information that in the classroom, we must inspire them. We have to motivate them to learn and to apply things.”

— Cheryl Arnett, Sunset Elementary School first- and second-grade teacher, about recent changes in education

A local teacher offered her view Tuesday about the Republican presidential frontrunner’s recent comments about public sector jobs.

“I guess I should have been surprised when Mitt Romney said that the path to economic prosperity is to cut teacher jobs, but honestly, I wasn’t shocked,” said Cheryl Arnett, a Sunset Elementary School first- and second-grade teacher.

She and Mark Ferrandino, Colorado House of Representatives minority leader, were invited to weigh in on education during a conference call Tuesday with President Barack Obama's campaign staff.

The call was in response to comments Romney made Friday during a campaign rally in Iowa.

Romney, who visited Craig last month on the campaign trail, criticized the president’s job creation plan, saying, “(Obama) says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers,” ABCnews.com reported.

“Did he not get the message in Wisconsin?” the website quoted Romney as saying in reference to a failed recall election last week to oust Republican Gov. Scott Walker. “The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.” Romney’s remarks drew fire from Ferrandino, D-Denver.

“I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t want a president whose economic plan is to fire thousands of hard-working Coloradans,” he said during the call. “That’s bad for our kids, it’s bad for our business and it’s bad for our economy.”

Arnett spoke of her participation in a May 29 roundtable discussion with Romney before his campaign rally later that morning in downtown Craig.

She considered it an “honor” to participate in the discussion and had intended to speak to Romney about the need to teach problem solving, critical thinking and creativity.

But she left feeling rebuffed by the Republican candidate, a sentiment she elaborated on in a column published on the huffingtonpost.com and in the Craig Daily Press.

“He asked no questions, but instead lectured me," she said. “Gov. Romney lost any hope he might have had for my vote that day.”

Aside from casting her ballot at election time, “I’m not a real politically active person,” the veteran teacher said after the call. Education is one of her driving passions, and it’s also rapidly changing, she said.

When she was a student, “you went to school to learn information,” Arnett said. “But now, if you think about it, any information you want is available in seconds, at the tip of your finger, on the computer.”

From her perspective, the task of education now is to help students evaluate and use the information available to them.

“Children are growing up right now with so much technology and access to information that in the classroom, we must inspire them,” she said. “We have to motivate them to learn and to apply things.”

Arnett sees promising signs at the local level. Curriculum realignment in the Moffat County School District is a step in the right direction, as is collaboration between teachers, parents and the community, particularly through recently formed grassroots education groups.

“I think Moffat County is on the right track,” she said.

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Comments

cach22 1 year, 10 months ago

“I guess I should have been surprised when Mitt Romney said that the path to economic prosperity is to cut teacher jobs, but honestly, I wasn’t shocked,” said Cheryl Arnett.

Romney never said cutting teachers was the answer. He said hiring MORE teachers, fireman, etc is not the answer. Honestly, this is who we are trusting to teach our children?

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Denise Bagley 1 year, 10 months ago

WrestlinRockies— I've noticed a pattern to your posts. If you don't agree or understand what someone says, you turn to insults. Your response makes no sense at all. The person posting, prior to you, merely stated that Romney never said he would cut teacher jobs. This person never said that he/she wasn't concerned for our children's future or education. I myself disagreed with Ms. Arnett's statements as well, in another post, are you going to verbally insult me? You don't know that person, yet you feel you have the right to call them names and bash them? I did not grow up in this county, but have lived here for over twenty years. I take offense to your words as well. My husband and I are both gainfully employed, college educated members of society. I don't eat at McDonald's, I don't smoke Meth, or any other substance, and I most certainly am not stupid. Ironically your own words show the thoughts of an ignorant, intolerable, and unintelligent person– the very qualities which you so rudely cast upon the citizens of this county.

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Jon Pfeifer 1 year, 10 months ago

Well said Italiris. If you cannot debate an issue rationally, the problem is you, wrestlinrockies.

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Denise Bagley 1 year, 10 months ago

For those who are just reading these comments, Wrestlinrockies had left an insulting, hate-filled comment to cach22. I felt the need to stand up to this anonymous bully. Apparently, he couldn't take the heat, so he got out of the kitchen. What a cowardice move.

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daily 1 year, 10 months ago

The statement "From her perspective, the task of education now is to help students evaluate and use the information available to them." is typical phsyco babble gobbledygoop Concentrate on teaching kids to read, write and do arithmetic.

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Brian Kotowski 1 year, 10 months ago

catch22 hit the nail on the head. America has amassed more debt and now owes more money than anyone has ever owed anybody. Ever. Ms. Arnett apparently agrees with the President that that's a good thing, and what we should do now is double down. Confiscate even more money from the private sector and shovel it into the public sector. If you're busting your tail in a non-government job you can suck wind, and be grateful that your efforts are funding government unions.

It's tempting to call Ms. Arnett an idiot, but I'm loathe to offend the idiots among us.

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kidsrrfuture 1 year, 10 months ago

I just want to thank Mrs. Arnett for being willing to share her views. As a fellow teacher, I know what an amazing teacher she is. Her students are her passion. She goes above and beyond for them. While I may not share her political views, I applaud her for being strong and assertive with her ideas no matter how the public perceives them or her. She is exemplifying, for her students and the community, how to stand up for a cause even if it is not the popular thing to do. Political views aside, she is setting a terrific example to all of our students. Speak your mind, be strong, criticism will probably come, but that is one of the basic principles our country stands for--free speech. And, it makes me sad that people insinuate that this amazing and talented teacher is an idot. But since we have free speech, I guess you can do that, I just happen to disagree.

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OyveyCraig 1 year, 10 months ago

It is pathetic that people go so quickly to name calling because they have a different political opinion. She is sharing an EDUCATED OPINION. You might have a different educated opinion, but that does not make the other side idiots. That is seriously pathetic. My guess is that those who insist on going the "idiot" route as their argument when it comes to politics, don't actually have an educated opinion.

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