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Monday, September 22, 2014
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Published: Tuesday, 2/10/2009

Schools need excellence, not gibberish

Governor Strickland, normally at least a par player, whiffed his tee shot on Ohio education.

The over-arching issue is that instead of listening to research and authoritative voices of change in K-12 education, the governor has elected to simply tinker with traditional public education, a loser decades ago, leaving in place and essentially unaltered the same cultures and bureaucracy that created our challenges.

The leader board: Early education, an eagle; lengthening the school year, a bogey for timidity; testing, a double bogey for driving with a putter; the residency proposal, disqualification, for illogic and playing the wrong hole; auditing schools, the score card hasn't been signed, but likely cheating; the whole shebang - doesn't make the cut.

The worst of the lot, a "residency" program for teachers, makes no sense. The medical analogy is flawed, something analysis would have revealed. Needed are human resources coming out of schools of education with subject-matter excellence, not more methods gibberish. Emphasis has shifted from "teaching" to "learning."

Standardized testing is flawed; better approaches are in process. Strategic thinking?

Technology tailored to K-12 that is exploding has been virtually ignored, as has the need to rethink school management. More strategic thinking?

This mess is last century's educational dogma revisited.

Ronald Willett

New Bremen, Ohio

I was appalled to hear about the proposal to add an additional 60-cent tax on a pack of cigarettes to pay for children's health care when the state makes it illegal to smoke in a privately owned business. Why not add the tax to a box of disposable diapers, or a can of formula, or a jar of baby food?

Most adults toiled their entire lives to support the children we brought into this world, but now we're expected to support the young of a generation who can't keep their pants up though we still can't get medical assistance? This is just wrong.

Matthew Ridenour

Sylvania

If the new President and all the liberal wackos in Congress feel sorry for the nut-job detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison and want to release them, why not consider hiring them as kitchen help at the White House and Capitol Building?

Tim Traver

Clay Center

"How can any American not want a president to succeed?" Your columnist, Rose Russell, and others pondering this mystery might find some clues by examining how liberals behaved when the shoe was on the other foot. They might start by asking the following questions: Did liberal Democrats want President Bush to succeed? Did they "set aside" their deepest held beliefs and "come together" in support of the Republican agenda "for the sake of the country?" No, they didn't.

Yet now they expect me, a conservative Republican, to forget my convictions? They expect me to forget what happened to a private citizen who exposed candidate Obama's plans to "spread the wealth?" They want me to "set politics aside" in the name of "unity"? No, I won't!

President Obama has the responsibility for the well-being of all Americans, and despite our great differences, he has my prayers for his safety. But the one thing he cannot have is my silence. The question isn't "do I want President Obama to succeed?" The question we should be asking is, "succeed at doing what?" Weaving an economic security blanket into an Iron Curtain?

What I want most is for America to succeed. I want capitalism and individual freedom to endure. Americans who feel the same way had better start speaking up while it's something we can still do.

Yes, we can recognize the historical significance of President Obama's election and still stand up for what we believe. Yes, we can judge him on the content of his character. And no, we don't support his plan to "remake the country" into the United Socialist States of America!

Margaret Proulx

Defiance

Supporters of Israel, get over it. Just because the failed Bush administration called Hamas a terrorist reorganization, it was not necessarily so.

Hamas was elected as the ruling party under a strict U.S. guideline which promoted and supported free and democratic elections.

Hamas won. In the eyes of many Arabs in the world, they are freedom fighters.

As a matter of fact, Israel is the terrorist aggressor. Israel confiscated Palestinian land, expands the illegal and unlawful construction of Israeli settlements, humiliates and terrorizes a whole population and blockades their country, and uses illegal weapons to harm and kill civilians. Then they apologize.

It is wrong for Hamas to launch rockets into Israeli populated areas. It is wrong for Israel to blockade, imprison, and humiliate a whole population, administering a choking grip on their freedom and survival, which accomplishes nothing except revenge.

Israel never wanted peace unless it occupies, confiscates, and annexes all the precious and fertile land from West Bank Palestinians; to complete "their Israel" from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River, and beyond.

Israel has been talking about peace for 60 years now. Where is the peace?

Many U.N. resolutions were ignored by Israel. There are several peace organizations in Israel itself trying to prod their government to move toward peace; members include both Jews and Arabs. There are also several in the United States.

I hope that the supporters of Israel in this country work for peace and stop using Hamas as an excuse for war. Former Sen. George Mitchell has a formidable task ahead of him as the Mideast envoy. We should all support him and wish him success with positive results that benefit all. After all, peace belongs to all of us.

Chuck Shubeta

Monclova Township

Although Marilou Johanek writes for The Blade, it is apparent she does not read it. If she did, she would know that the North American Free Trade Agreement, at the time it was being proposed by President Bill Clinton, was vociferously opposed by our own U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, who predicted it would cause painful layoffs and a stagnant economy.

Boy, was she ever right.

Damian Walczak

Oregon

I have been reading with interest the letters and news articles about ice formation on our new cable-stayed bridge.

Given the number of these bridges throughout the world, it's hard for me to believe that the issue of icing of the cables hasn't been encountered before.

I wonder in particular about the Penobscot Narrows Bridge in Maine, which opened in 2006. How has the Maine Department of Transportation dealt with this problem?

Perhaps more importantly, if icing has been a known factor in this bridge design in the past, why on earth was it chosen for northwest Ohio?

Barbara Padgett

Heatherdowns Boulevard

In that peek-a-boo fi asco called Congress, no one is in charge. Both major political parties keep the rhetoric going on the budget and defi cits. Both keep the pork earmarks.

If they were serious about change, someone would introduce a bill in giving the President line-item veto authority, which Congress could override with a two-thirds majority.

The person or party that introduces the line-item veto will be the real hero of the country.

GARY BUCK

Scottwood Avenue

Editor s note: In 1998, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the line-item veto unconstitutional. Instituting it would require a constitutional amendment.



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