While many Rhode Islanders wish the state would have followed Providence Mayor Angel Taveras’ lead on pension politics, at least one man in Indiana surely wishes he would have strayed from the progressive mayor’s message. That’s because the Indiana school superintendent is accused of plagiarizing from a letter Taveras wrote about teachers.
“At least three memos or emails released to staff and the school community by [the superintendent], appear identical in many parts to communications from other school districts and, in one case, a letter from the office of the mayor of Providence, R.I.,” reports the Journal and Courier of Lafayette, Indiana.
The superintendent, who was fired, apologized to Taveras on Tuesday, though in the article he denied plagiarizing from him.
According to the article, the superintendent wrote this in a letter for Teacher Appreciation week this year:
“Public school teachers have played a pivotal role in my life. As a fourth grader at Washington Elementary School, it was my teacher, Mrs. Diane Lane, who encouraged me to work harder towards my education than my social life. I know first-hand how a public education and quality teachers can change a life. It changed mine!”
This is the very similar words that Taveras wrote for Teacher Appreciation Week last year:
“Public school teachers have played a pivotal role in my life. As a third grader at Mary Fogarty Elementary School, it was my teacher, Mrs. Dorothy Donaldson, who encouraged me to join a gifted program and chase my dream of becoming a lawyer. I know first-hand how a public education and quality teachers can change a life. It changed mine.”
Mayor Taveras’ letter comes up on the first page of a Google search for “teacher appreciation letter.”
Some may find irony in a midwestern superintendent copying Taveras’ words on teacher appreciation since the one chink in the popular mayor’s progressive resume is that he sent lay-off notices to public school teachers. Taveras has also supported charter schools, which effectively funnel already-scarce resources for education away from traditional public schools and the vast majority of students and teachers.