November 4, 2013

Letters to the editor: Football great meets today's players

(Continued from page 1)

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Willie Greenlaw, who played at Portland High School and the University of Nebraska in the 1950s, will be among the inaugural inductees into the Portland High School Football Hall of Fame.

1999 file photo by Jack Milton

I was dismayed to read Kathleen Parker’s column in the Oct. 29 issue of the Portland Press Herald,

While it is true that there have been many problems with the implementation of “Obamacare,” it has been less than a month since the effort began, and the deluge of complaints and finger-pointing seem premature.

Our current health care system is not working. We have the most expensive health care in the First World countries, the largest number of uninsured, and our results as measured by infant mortality and longevity are mediocre. It would be far more productive for our country and its citizens if we worked to implement this health care program, planning to make improvements as problems arise. To not do so is mean when millions of our fellow Americans are un- or underinsured and remain one illness away from bankruptcy.

Nancy D. Barber, M.D. (ret.)


Society relies on teachers’ expertise and intuition

When public school teachers wonder, “Why am I doing (or redoing) this? It’s not what I believe is best for my kids,” oftentimes, a politician or corporation has stepped into the classroom and is trying to do her job. Keep in mind, most politicians and CEOs have never spent a single day in a classroom. The teaching profession is under attack in the name of corporate profits and political elections. I have observed teachers increasingly pressured to make decisions about what and how to teach based on the recommendations of curriculum, textbook and assessment publishing companies. All in the name of corporate profits and ever higher and higher standardized test scores, deemed significant by politicians seeking election wins.

Teachers, we need your professional judgment, creativity and passion for student growth (not their ability to meet standards or take standardized tests) to be at the heart of your decision-making. Our society relies on your expertise and intuition to make decisions about what’s best for students’ personal and academic growth. No small task! Maintain your professional autonomy; keep politicians and corporations out of your classroom.

I hope that when faced with new standards, curricula and testing requirements, you will ask questions and share your professional opinion. I believe there is still an important place for creativity (for students and teachers) in your classroom.

Our students’ time with you is precious – too important to be influenced by the uninformed.

Jean Rank



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