Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Unlike Bill Nemitz ("Governor, be alert to the devil in the details," Jan. 7), I was enthused by Gov. LePage's idea of considering the possibility of offering a fifth year of high school to students who may need that bridge to higher-level education.
Mr. Nemitz's assertion that this could only happen with more money is premature.
For instance, just as there are students who could very well benefit from a fifth year of high school, I propose that there are numerous students who may well benefit from completing the equivalent of a K-12 education in fewer than 13 years.
Longitudinal studies indicate that acceleration of students through one or more grade levels can be very effective. This could very well contribute to an overall cost savings. A hang-up on grade-based progression is one of the many entrenched old structures that hold us back.
I am very concerned about this constant assertion from many so-called "supporters of education" that all improvements in education will come through more revenue.
Amanda Ripley addresses this in the December issue of The Atlantic magazine. She cites research by Stanford economist Eric Hanushek which indicates clearly that "More money does not tend to lead to better results in education." This excellent research backs up what many of us in education have known for years.
I find it refreshing that we now have a governor who immediately got the dialogue going. I think he knows it will require "heavy lifting" and I applaud him for even showing a strong commitment to try.
No, it isn't all about "state spending"; it's about streamlining the current bureaucracy that is holding us back.
Taking on the education status quo will bring out the pessimists, but my perception is that this governor will keep moving forward with a clear focus on preparing our students for the 21st century.
Prayer to open Legislature was greatly appreciated
God bless the Rev. Roger E. Tracey for having the courage to tell it like it is in his prayer to open a legislative session.
We Americans have sat back and allowed our government to take God out of our schools and public buildings, remove the Pledge of Allegiance from our schools, disallow prayer and so many other things.
We wonder why things are going so wrong in our world. The answer is a no-brainer. Get God back in our country where he has always been.
God bless America, our schools and other public institutions, and our troops.
Good idea to rethink fluoride use in water
I think reviewing the use of fluoride in drinking water is a good idea. Please learn more and decide if you think fluoride addition is best for your public drinking water system.
I'm an operator at a water treatment plant, responsible for feeding the chemical on a daily basis. Science, demographics and the right to choose all change over time. So please look at both sides of the question and let's bring fluoride back to a vote.
Column critical of Obama seemed badly out of place
On the day after President Obama's moving Tucson speech, when the whole country was applauding him for providing exactly the right note of healing, what was the point of running a prominent Commentary page piece titled "After carnage, Obama fails to move us"?
Either the editors are determined to print any Obama criticism no matter how "overtaken by events" it might be (to quote their own Letters to the Editor policy); or they don't even read their own wire services and front page (headline: "Obama says it's time for healing").
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