I appreciate The Blade's focus on schooling via your "Education Matters" series. For me, the series raises a question and inspires some comments.
You state in your May 8 editorial "Beating the odds" that "the achievement gap between white and minority TPS [Toledo Public Schools] students remains unacceptably wide." Are you implying that the achievement gap between Asian-Americans and everyone else is acceptable?
The move by Chattanooga, Tenn., teachers to plan together 30 minutes a day, four days a week is beginning to approximate the Japanese concept of lesson study.
The idea of value-added assessment and determining teacher effectiveness by standardized tests is not viable. A test to measure how much mathematics a fifth grader has learned is just that. It is not written to measure the effectiveness of a teacher and should not be used in such a manner.
Raymond A. Heitger
Advice to GOP: Remember history
I hope Republicans have good memories ("GOP temper tantrum," guest editorial, June 25). The push to get Republicans to compromise on their no-tax pledge is a trap.
For proof, look no further than President George H.W. Bush. Democrats and their liberal allies in the media convinced him to break his "read my lips" no-new-tax pledge, and then used his compromise to beat him and Republicans in the 1992 elections.
Being anti-gun counterproductive
After reading another of your anti-gun editorials ("Ending gun violence," June 29), I am convinced it was just the usual attempt to demonize an object you do not like.
After years of this attitude and many gun laws, trying to ban guns has had no effect on violent crime.
Marijuana, cocaine, and heroin are all illegal, and yet anyone who desires these drugs can obtain them with relative ease anywhere in the United States.
If this persistence in recycling the Volstead Act, which led to the 18th Amendment that brought about Prohibition, continues, then we should not be surprised at the outcome.
Enough already with levy requests
The Toledo Zoo and other organizations are always needing more money. I am tired of levies, new and old ("Wood County rejects zoo levy," June 22).
If citizens can't afford to support our schools, how can we be expected to support the zoo, parks, animal shelter, library, Imagination Station, and anyplace else where those in charge have no idea how to manage money?
Charge the people who use the facilities. I can't go to taxpayers when I need money. The well is running dry.
There's a history of skewed history
You reported correctly that Sarah Palin isn't alone in misstating our nation's history ("Twisting history: Palin isn't alone in misfiring on America's distant past," June 12).
In 1999, a federal law established the Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historical site. The law includes three significant findings that are in some ways wrong.
The law reads: "The 185-acre Fallen Timbers Battlefield is the site of the 1794 battle between General Anthony Wayne and a confederation of Native American tribes led by Little Turtle and Blue Jacket." The battle was not between General Wayne and the confederation, but between the Legion of the United States and the confederation. Little Turtle never led the confederation, although he did participate in the battle.
The law also reads: "Fort Miamis was occupied by General Wayne's legion from 1796 to 1798." The Legion never occupied the fort.
Also: "In the spring of 1813 British troops led by Col. Henry Proctor landed at Fort Miamis and attacked the fort twice without success." Colonel Proctor's attacks were on Fort Meigs, not Fort Miamis.
Ron Talloak Everett
UT wrong about bonuses to Jacobs
The University of Toledo is giving President Lloyd Jacobs two bonuses of $150,000 each ("UT chief Jacobs forgoes pay raise," June 21). If Dr. Jacobs' pay is cut or if the bonuses are dropped, UT won't have to lay off as many employees, and may not have to increase tuition as much, Is there no common sense at UT?
Honor Flight wrongly ignored
On June 22, Honor Flight of Northwest Ohio made available the trip of a lifetime for 80 World War II veterans. With this flight, more than 700 local veterans have made the trip to Washington to view the memorial dedicated to their service.
Where was The Blade? You ignored this historic event, and the men and women who fought to protect your freedom to publish your paper. You found space the following day to print the pictures of dogs up for adoption, but not an expression of thanks to those who served our country.
The tentative dates for the next Honor Flights are Aug. 31 and Sept. 28. You do not want to miss these opportunities to show your gratitude.
Ernest J. Toth
Ohio's tax cuts won't help public
President Reagan cut taxes for the rich and large corporations supposedly to create jobs. The trickle-down theory is a myth.
Now we have the whiz from Wall Street, Gov. John Kasich. He will destroy Ohio because his new budget has tax cuts of $300 million per year ("House clears $55.8B state budget," June 30). I'll guess that none of those tax breaks will help anyone here in Delta. The tax cuts will go to the rich and large corporations, who take care of him.
We'll have to use creative thinking to keep facilities afloat because he's cutting money for schools, local government, libraries, and nursing homes.
Someone is trying to tell us something
I've come to the conclusion that with all the fires, floods, droughts, tornadoes, and the like, a higher power -- Mother Nature, God, whoever -- is trying to tell us that we are supposed to be the caregivers for the Earth ("The gathering storm," editorial, June 21).
The Maumee and Ottawa rivers are polluted. The Earth is not here for mankind to rape and plunder.
All we do is strip the world of its resources and abuse it. It's sad; no wonder all those bad things happen.
Social Security OK, but can be better
Solving Social Security is not an issue. Social Security is solvent. If you want to make it more so, it is simple: Increase the payroll deduction for employees and employers, rather than reduce it as the current Congress did.
Raise the maximum amount for individuals that is taxable to at least $10 million. Use the money only for Social Security expenses. Automatically increase the age of retirement by six months for every documented two years' increase in average longevity. Tax all income earned at any age.
Social Security is based on President Franklin D. Roosevelt's promise that if you pay in, you can collect your money when you retire. Americans count on Social Security being there when they need it.
Social Security didn't cause the deficit, so benefits shouldn't be cut to fix it. Some politicians in Washington are talking about cutting the Social Security benefits we've earned to address the deficit.
Don't steal from my grandchildren and future citizens. Protect Social Security.
David J. Neuendorff
Gasoline prices simply unlawful
There is only one word to describe gasoline prices: criminal ("Fluctuations in fuel prices reroute some travel plans," June 30).