Wisdom from the Web
On the Vail Daily Web site, you can comment on each story or editorial you read there.Here, in old-fashioned print, we publish excerpts of those comments:Re: Costs a cause of teacher turnoverIn your article a handy chart was presented that listed all the various reasons for teacher turnover. The chart indicates a steady increase in turnover since the adoption of the Teacher Advancement Program. Another interesting observation is that between 2004-2005 school year the district grew from 5,157 students to 5,365 which is a gain of 208 students (these numbers are found at the Colorado Department of Education website). The district hired an additional 17 teachers which brought the number of teachers from 422 to 439. Now remember, these numbers are not including all the other adults in buildings such as principals, assistant principals, nurses and aids. I decided to discover the student per teacher ratio for the entire district by dividing the number of students by the number of teachers and discovered it to be 12.2 children per teacher. It seems people have been griping about the charter school only having 16 per class, when all along the other schools could have had small class sizes as well. Re: Letters to the EditorTthe commentor writes “…people that have to work 2 jobs to survive here in one breath, and the next you propose an additional tax on that same person. That sure doesn’t make sense to me “…it sure doesn’t make sense–not to most of us. What does our government do when people feel the money pinch and spend less in the general economy? We lower interest rates (thus lowering the costs) so they have more money. We don’t RAISE the costs!PS This valley has always been expensive–in fact, MORE expensive (not less) to live here for the common “workin’folk” …ALWAYS. This is NOT new news.Re: Society’s investmentsNEWS FLASH! Eagle County taxpayers already finance Early Childhood Headstart!We are currently paying for the following:* Quality early education in the home* Parenting education* Nutrition education* Family support services* Comprehensive health and mental health services, including services to women before, during, and after pregnancy.* Any interested parent(s) may apply if they are pregnant or have children birth to five years of age. There are no fees.The program includes skill building in:* Promotion of parent and child self-esteem* Family management skills* Development of stronger intergenerational ties* Child development knowledge* Development of social support system* Parenting skills for academic success* Any parent may apply. There is no fee. Child care and a nutritious snack are provided during the program. The program is held in various community sites.For more information see the Eagle County Web site:www.eaglecounty.us/hhs/childServices.cfmRe: Lamm takes on a tabooD.R. says, “Parental influence – namely pushing – in a child’s education no doubt has everything to do with later success. Period. Regardless of cultures.”Sorry, Don, but this is just more feel-good liberal nonsense. We all wish it were that simple, but it just isn’t. Culture imposes a huge effect on children and I have witnessed it firsthand from both sides of the proverbial fence, to wit I share the following:A young Mexican friend of mine speaks excellent English; he goes to school and is working diligently to improve his lot in life. I admire him for it, but his peers do not. Apparently the other kids of his community think he’s arrogant, or better than the rest of them, precisely because he remains in school and works hard to improve his life. For this he is not only ridiculed and ostracized, he has been assaulted and beaten. That, Mr. Rogers, is the effect of culture. My young friend is being forced to choose between his potential for success or turning his back on the ignorance and violence of his loser-homeboys. In effect, he is being forced to turn his back on his own culture.Mr. Lamm spoke truthfully, if politically incorrectly. But political correctness has never produced successful results. Political correctness is the conscious decision to close one’s eyes and ignore the cold harsh reality that surrounds them. Pretending that all cultures are equally positive is naïve at best, dangerous or deadly at worst. Pretending that the problems plaguing the black and Hispanic cultures in America are not related to their respective cultures is as ignorant and dangerous as pretending Hezbollah and Hamas are not terrorist regimes. Political correctness will be our demise.