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Letters to the editor

Friday, January 4, 2013 - 12:01 am

Public schools about competing for money

Charter schools are public schools that are not run by the government. It would be better to have them run by nonprofits like Thurgood Marshall is, if only to remove that as a bone of contention. But that’s just a pretext for union opposition.

Charters don’t select students. Imagine Broadway, repeatedly panned as an F-rated school by FWCS and the JG has 95 percent of its kids on free lunch. F-rated Harrison Hill, where I once went, has only 82 percent on free lunch. A failing charter can be closed by its chartering organization. Who’s going to close Harrison Hill? Giaquinta should keep his mouth shut and be thankful he doesn’t get those kids back in FWCS.

FWCS claims they can’t adapt to small losses of students. That’s BS. They can close schools. They had no compunction about closing Elmhurst and Pleasant Center. They were going to close Bloomingdale, Washington, Study and Nebraska (an A-rated school by the way) elementary schools and bus all those kids to a new elementary school under the $500 million plan.

The teachers will be transferred and won’t lose their jobs, so they don’t care. Neighborhood schools are a thing of the past under “choice” and “magnets.” FWCS didn’t own a bus when I went there. Now neighborhood schools are yellow boxes on wheels costing us $20 million a year.

It’s purely about competition for money, how many they have in a seat on count day. FWCS never had any intention of doing anything painful to raise test scores until their money was threatened by the imminent takeover of NSHS and SSHS and eight others coming down the road.

The only way to stop the decline is to figure out how to educate minorities to a higher standard and change the culture in their buildings. From 2000 to 2010 they were losing over 400 white kids every year. That’s hurting them worse than charter schools or vouchers. Vouchers may speed that up but won’t stop it.

Gary and Indy got a head start, but FWCS is headed in the same direction. I had some hope with the reforms passed by the legislature, but then we got Glenda Ritz..

Evert Mol

Court scheduling can hurt fragile families

As a single father of a precious 2-year-old, I find it devastating to be without him for the last 24 days and needing to wait for another 55 days before my matter is heard before an honorable judge or magistrate.

No Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s or Valentine’s Day means a relationship (while fragile) is strained due to scheduling.

I encourage and ask those of elected office and taxpayers to consider increasing the number judges and magistrates in our family court system. This increase would only be a benefit to the children and the community.

Brian Thornton

Meat consumption continues to drop

This year’s developments have certainly vindicated those of us who care about our health, our environment and our treatment of animals.

In January, first lady Michelle Obama unveiled revamped federal guidelines requiring school cafeterias to serve more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and less sodium and animal fat.

In March, a study involving nearly 38,000 men and 84,000 women by the Harvard School of Public Health concluded that one daily serving of meat is associated with a 13-20 percent increase in the risk of death from heart disease or cancer.

It’s little wonder that 7 percent of Americans consider themselves vegetarian or vegan and 28 percent are actively reducing their meat consumption, leading to a 12 percent U.S. drop since 2007.

We should all consider following suit for this New Year’s resolution.

Kim Teague