Speak Out B 01/08/03

Thursday, January 9, 2003

Cut sports first

IN RESPONSE to the Speak Out caller who wanted to get the fluff out of education, I know a great place to start: sports. Our schools spend an outrageous amount on athletics, and education suffers because of it. Society would be better served if we taught our children science, mathematics and literature rather than how to throw a ball through a hoop.

Thoughtful approach

IN TIMES of tighter money, the argument of cutting school fluff and returning to the basics always comes up. The tough decision that follows is, "What is fluff, and what is basic?" When I have been part of these discussions, inevitably someone suggests cutting music and art or foreign language or sports. Then the arguments start about the value of one subject or activity over another. As the old saying goes, "One man's garbage is another man's treasure." Preparing children for this new century will obviously require a broader education than has been done in the past. Belt-tightening may be in order, but it must be done thoughtfully rather than in a frantic back-to-the-basics rush.

College assessments

I COMPLETELY agree with Sarah Lichtenegger's comments about the ACT and SAT college-entrance exams. The only thing they seem to identify is one's willingness to spend time going to workshops and learning how to take the tests. Is it not absolutely absurd that one must learn how to take a nationalized test in order to get into college? Forget grades, motivation, skills and abilities in the area of study in which you want to specialize. Why not use multiple forms of assessment, including a motivation test, a vocational interest test, GPA assessment and personal biography without relying heavily on a single factor? I made a 13 on my ACT which would have predicted academic struggles and possible failing in college. I have a bachelor's degree, two master's degrees and a doctorate. Try to convince me that my ACT score accurately predicted my current level of academic success.

Someone to care

GERALD JONES' comment about the juvenile center -- he said he was tired and to the point where he didn't care -- was interesting. We need someone in office who does care.

Smoking and drinking

A LOT of employers have polices requiring smokers to go outside, but who has the right to tell someone when and where they can smoke outside? It doesn't matter where we smoke, non-smokers will still find something to gripe about. I wonder what would happen if the non-smokers put as much effort and time into people who drink and drive.

HOW CAN there be peace when Christians support a government that continues to build nuclear weapons? How can there be peace when the poor have no jobs and tax cuts are given to the rich? I wish Cape Girardeau's Christians would live the words of Christ.

FANCY UNIFORMS lend an air of respect to all who wear them. I agree that security officers are unappreciated, especially by those who employ them for a salary of $14,000 a year. If a person can't support himself or his family, it robs him of his own self-esteem. Big businesses get what they pay for. How many people will give up their lives to protect a factory or business that expects security workers to be on the job for double shifts on holidays for straight pay without any benefits or job security?

A COMMENT in Speak Out -- "How can you teach when the class is running all over the teacher?" -- was a very perceptive one. As a teacher, I always scream out, "What we're now experiencing is a lesson in anarchy!"Discipline problems

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