I am voting for Sen. Bernie Sanders because he is honest. It’s the times we live in that make this trait stand out.

Keene High announced in September that grades are going to be abolished. This news got me and 30 other overworked parents to show up at a school board meeting, to halt the decision — for now.

Even so, the school board voted to abolish midterms and exams. If you don’t give students exams and grades, they don’t study the hard stuff. What a disaster for my kids’ minds. The people who advocate this call it “personalized education.” The end goal is to have every student sit at a computer and teach themselves with an online course. Teachers become less important. Pilot programs show delayed times to graduation, drops in math scores, and drops in writing.

One teacher told me, “It is a failed model. The magic of the classroom is interaction between kids and teachers. If you take that away, the magic is gone.” Did you notice that replacing teachers with computers is the opposite of personal? I’d call it dehumanizing.

It’s that double speak that is so confusing — it’s so hard to know whom to trust. And it is what makes me value Sanders’ honesty. I’ve met Gov. Sununu, and he is charming, but it turns out to be snake oil.

He appointed Frank Edelblut as commissioner of education. Edelblut is an investor in technology startups, which makes me suspicious of his motives.

Unfortunately, Democratic Sen. Hassan is also for this bad educational model. Sanders suggests that we hold even Democrats accountable, by running better ones in primaries against incumbents that are not doing the right thing.

Sanders is honest with me: he says if I want to turn my community around with democracy, I’m going to have to meet with my neighbors. Even after working 40 hours, stopping for milk on the way home, cooking dinner, teaching my son to drive and helping my kids with homework? Yes.

It’s not a message I want to hear, but I can sense he’s right. People tell me that Sanders can’t accomplish all he promises. Well, here’s the thing: I am going to be fighting for my kids’ education no matter what. Right now, it is not looking good.

Having a president who wants to empower teachers’ unions would improve the odds. That’s who I want in the oval office.

Sincerely,

MARIE DUGGAN

330 Hurricane Road

Keene