Speak Out 10/23/03

Thursday, October 23, 2003

IT SEEMS like those who call Speak Out with a solution to fix education have no clue what they are talking about. How would you like it if we teachers came to your businesses and told you how to fix your problems? The suggestion to get rid of the grade school counselors is a joke. Who do you think tests students? Grade-school counselors are swamped by paperwork required by the state. Most of them work extra hours to get everything done. Before dispensing the advise, know what you are talking about.

Adopt a child

INSTEAD OF adopting a day, why not adopt a child? There are lots of children who need to be adopted.

Plenty of help

MY HUSBAND and I had two shots last week at the county health center. I can't say enough about the workers there. I don't get around very well. They gave me my shots sitting down. They are thoughtful and kind. Some of the people waiting for their shots opened and closed the door for me. I am grateful for all the help. There are still good people in this world.

Save, don't spend

IT WAS great to read how the Jackson School District has improved its Internet site so parents have access to student lunch accounts, grades and other information. I also enjoyed the article about implementing a new math curriculum. The article failed to mention that new math books were purchased for kindergarten through 12th grade. All these things would be great if I hadn't just read where Jackson is in such a budget crunch. Instead of telling us how bad the financial situation is, the school should be finding ways to save money instead of spending like there is no limit. They cut 17 teaching positions but no administrative positions. Does anyone see a problem with this picture?

Teacher reaction

THIS IS to the person who said education majors were scraped from the bottom of the barrel and that teachers complain more than any other profession. As an educator, I would like to say this is the exact reason why we complain all the time. It is because we are constantly ridiculed. People are always making generalizations about educators. The majority of us work very hard and do what we think is best for our students. In return, we get blamed and criticized. I feel this is also why so many students show such lack of respect for their teachers. Why would they show respect when their parents say we were scraped from the bottom of the barrel? Most teachers really care and like what they are doing.

Religious paradox

HERE IS an interesting observation: When someone we like falls miserably, we pray for him. When someone we do not care for falls miserably, we crucify him. I guess this is another Christian paradox.

Rhetoric, inaction

WHAT DOES the word "priority" mean to President Bush? Two years ago he said, "Veterans are a priority for this administration ... and that priority is reflected in my budget." But a year ago, when he had a chance to approve $275 million for medical care of veterans, he said, "We'll spend none of it." This is a measure of how important our brave fighting men and women are to this president. Like all his noble plans, it's all rhetoric and inaction.

Fighting terrorism

THOSE WHO believe Vice President Cheney's statements about terrorism funding should check the facts. Following the first World Trade Center bombing, the Clinton White House tried and imprisoned those responsible. Clinton's team doubled counterterrorism budgets, including tripling the counterterrorism budget for the FBI. They stopped planned attacks on U.S. jetliners, U.N. headquarters and other sites. In 1995 and 1966, Clinton asked for expansion of wiretap authority and an increase in antiterrorism funds. Republicans such as Orrin Hatch and Newt Gingrich opposed these measures. Clinton also authorized the assassination of Osama bin Laden and developed a comprehensive antiterrorism plan to eliminate al-Qaida worldwide. They left this plan for the Bush administration, but it was never implemented prior to 9-11 because Donald Rumsfeld demanded funding go to missile defense systems instead. When the FBI asked for more money to fight terrorism in August 2001, John Ashcroft refused the entire amount. President Bush and Cheney dropped the ball. They started fighting terrorism only after 9-11.

Street crime

WILL THE crack users and the hookers still be on Morgan Oak when the River Campus is complete?

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