With more than 1,100 volunteers in the Toledo Public Schools, and 2,000 throughout metropolitan Toledo, OhioReads provides local students with one-on-one reading support, while inviting the public into the public schools in a new way.
Recent criticism of OhioReads has focused on the lack of impact the program has on student proficiency test scores at the fourth-grade level. To the contrary, other evaluations of the program have cited its positive impact. OhioReads has made a difference in how schools and communities work together, increased literacy resources in our schools, provided professional development opportunities for teachers, and improved student attendance.
The correlation between student test scores and OhioReads tutoring can only be looked at in context of what is happening in the classroom in combination with what happens during tutoring sessions. Teachers and families deserve the credit for the success of their students, but they thank the volunteer tutors for the one-on-one attention their students receive. The funds spent on the program are minimal compared with the cost of reaching as many children through expensive after-school intervention, or ultimately, the cost of functionally illiterate adults.
The best thing about OhioReads is that children participating in the program now have additional caring, concerned adults in their lives. Volunteers help to make reading fun, become friends to the children, and encourage children who are struggling to keep trying.
Together, Partners In Education, Lucas County Educational Service Center and Junior League of Toledo believe in OhioReads and in 1999 formed Greater ToledoReads. Greater ToledoReads continues to work toward recruiting more tutors for local children who can benefit from a reading friend. You can learn more about volunteering in any of the local public school systems by calling us.
Partners In Education of Toledo
Your endorsement of Evelyn Stratton and Maureen O'Connor for the Ohio Supreme Court was expected, but the description of judicial duties was incorrect, or, at least, distorted.
It dismissed the duties of a municipal court judge as merely “... handling traffic cases.” That is the one thing that the judges in the larger municipal courts of Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Toledo leave to the magistrates. The municipal court judges handle the trial docket, civil and criminal, both jury and bench trials. Municipal court judges handle the domestic violence cases and the domestic protection orders. Municipal court judges are the ones that get up in the middle of the night to listen to undercover police officers' evidence to determine its constitutional adequacy for the issuance of search warrants.
The endorsement claimed that two years on the common pleas bench and eight years as a probate court magistrate is greater experience than years on the municipal court bench. Magistrates are appointed, not elected. Other than federal court, magistrates handle the menial tasks to save the judges time for important matters. A magistrate's authority is limited and subject to the approval of a judge. Also, judicial experience in both municipal and common pleas courts is the same.
Both courts follow the same rules of civil and criminal procedure, the same rules of evidence, the same common law and statutes. Two years of common pleas court experience does not equate to 10 years of municipal court experience.
Director, Special Projects
NWO Building and Construction Trades Council
Your endorsements of Justice Evelyn Stratton and Lt. Gov. Maureen O'Connor for seats on the Ohio Supreme Court were based not upon the qualifications of the candidates. Their opponents, Judge Janet Burnside and Judge Tim Black, were only discussed in passing. Rather, the endorsement was founded upon the belief that by electing Ms. Stratton and Ms. O'Connor, the 4-3 philosophical majority favoring Ohio's working men and women would be eliminated.
For several years now, Justice Alice Resnick and Justice Andy Douglas, Toledoans, were part of the 4-3 philosophical majority that did not act as a super-legislature but instead applied the Ohio and U.S. Constitutions to protect citizens against infringement by a legislature that knew no bounds.
The reality is that 31 states have now ruled that unreasonable restrictions on the rights of tort victims are unconstitutional. The Constitution is to protect the citizenry, and the justices are duty-bound to follow it. The implication by The Blade that Ms. Stratton and Ms. O'Connor will sit back and let the legislature do as it may without regard for the Constitution is unacceptable.
Both Judge Tim Black and Judge Janet Burnside were rated as qualified for a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court by the Ohio State Bar Association. Their credentials are impressive and deserved fuller evaluation. Instead of taking an opportunity to inform the voters, The Blade has succumbed to a one-sided analysis fed to it by the large corporations and insurance companies (the really big money) who support The Blade's endorsed candidates. In light of the misdeeds of the corporate world that have come to light during the past year, this state needs Judges Black and Burnside to protect its citizens.
STEVEN P. COLLIER
Immediate Past President
Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers
Writing ironically, I wonder if President Bush inspired the Oct. 2 letter, “Forestalling action is patriotic,” to inform those in the Toledo area and elsewhere that if they do not agree, they are unpatriotic. Underlying the letter is the idea that the President “knows all,” so his omniscience transcends opposing arguments. Furthermore, there is this implication: Putting all trust in President Bush and his administration gives him omnipotence, which, I add, he does not deserve.
Further irony surfaces in the letter: “... How many more Americans have to die before you [those who have made it their life's work to actively try to divide and weaken our country] behave like Americans yourself, and do your part to defend and protect this country?”
The insinuation that those who express other views or act differently are un-American is appalling. Surely the writer does not believe that military men and women are not Americans, for any number of them will invariably die in the war. Then there is, apparently, no consideration at all for the Iraqi civilians and military personnel who will also die.
Regardless of who we are and what we believe, lives should be preserved, not snuffed out through acts of aggression. If war is pursued through unenlightened patriotism or “devotion to the welfare of one's country,” then patriotism itself loses truthful significance.
WALLACE L. PRETZER
Having lived through the experiences of the presidencies of the likes of Bush, Reagan, Nixon, and now Dubya, I would not vote Republican even if a gun were held to my head! This democratic republic survives in spite of and not because of GOP presidents.
It is amazing that Democratic presidents can put things back on track when GOP predecessors get everything so off-kilter, but the focus is so different with people like Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton, for example.
A two-party system exposes the weaknesses of agendas, and I believe we will be more than ready for a return to the party of FDR in the congressional elections.
DONALD A. KELLER
Allowing the teaching of creationism (a.k.a. “intelligent design”) in a science class is as absurd as allowing the study of heaven and hell in a geography class.
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