Voters send strong message to Luna
Its unsurprising to read that politician Tom Luna considers the overwhelming vote to overturn the ill-considered, ALEC-cloned, Luna laws a bump in the road.
He and the legislative majority party refused to listen when hundreds of parents, students and educators testified against the Luna laws before they were enacted. Why would they listen now?
Luna proclaimed that the same voters who repealed the Luna laws this year elected him superintendent two years ago, ergo they must approve of his leadership and his ALEC-generated education reform ideas. Overwhelming defeat is just a bump in the road.
Would he have been re-elected two years ago had he openly run on his plan to push the ALEC education agenda he cynically named Students Come First?
When Idaho voters decisively rejected the Luna laws Nov. 6, they clearly demonstrated they no longer have confidence in Mr. Luna. They know his agenda now. He lost the public trust. Politician Luna apparently hasnt noticed.
KATHRYN PHELAN, McCall
Election wasnt a speed bump; it was a barricade
In the article about Mr. Luna seeing the election results as a speed bump, he should realize that was a barricade and any attempt to go around it would be a bad political mistake.
As for the common wisdom that merit pay is a better way to reward anyone for their service I can only say after working under that system for five years, that merit is the last thing that is taken into consideration.
PAUL VALAS, Meridian
Time to step down
Given the defeat of Propositions 1, 2 and 3 in the recent election, it would seem that this would be a good time for Mr. Luna to step down and be replaced by a qualified person.
HAL WISNER, M.D., Eagle
Will Idaho choose the right, but difficult, course?
On Nov. 11, I read the Our View on education reform. I was particularly happy to see a recommendation to involve business leaders and owners. Please listen to these inputs and adjust curriculum requirements at all levels of education, including college graduation requirements.
For too long, weve permitted students to take the easy path. Arts degrees are the majority of degrees awarded nationwide. Business in the U.S. isnt looking for arts majors in large amounts business, science, IT, accounting, management, logistics and medicine are needed. Not easy courses, the path ahead will be difficult. Preparing students for these majors begins at home and K-12 schools. We must steer from traditional arts courses. Teachers are arts majors and my words will sting, sorry.
Our current system has, over decades, repeatedly demonstrated an inability to prepare high school grads to succeed in college or careers. Is that point arguable? Other countries adjusted and passed us. Idaho and U.S. education systems better change and graduate what our economy needs. John F. Kennedy once said, We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. What will Idaho choose? Is real reform possible?
MARK TRAVIS, Mountain Home
Its time to leave politics and big business behind
This is a letter I just wrote to Butch Otter: The people have spoken, Butch. Please stand up and realize that education in the state of Idaho needs reform but not on the backs of the people who can and will make it work. I worked with your wife at Spalding Elementary and would have thought that she would give you some direct insight into the life of a teacher. Obviously I was wrong. Shes as much a politician as you are. So sad, considering what was at stake our children and their educational welfare. Now is the time to leave politics and big business behind and do what is right. I have taught for 28 years and consider myself an expert in this area. Can you say the same?
KRISTIN FROST, Boise
The Legislatures laws
Lets not forget that the Luna laws were the Legislatures laws! Its ironic that the majority of the incumbents who voted for the Luna laws were re-elected, and you can be sure that many of them will be pushing the same agenda. For as Luna said, when referring to the defeat of the proposals, Its just a bump in the road. Those who voted against Props 1, 2 and 3 should keep a close eye on their elected representatives.
CAY MARQUART, Boise
Voters spoke, and loudly
Regarding Otter to seek path forward on education, Nov. 8.
Its mighty thoughtful of Otter to accept the verdict of the Idaho voters to reject the three Luna laws, as if he had any other choice.
Reforms both Luna and Otter championed.
I think if these laws would have passed, Lunas next step would have been a run for the governors spot.
I dont really think the unions had as much to do with this failure as the voters did. The simple fact is that too many people dont like Luna or anything he tries to stand for. If he wants to quit, nobody is going to stand in his way except Otter and his bevy of Idahos powerful people. Just remember, voters Talk, powerful people just talk.
CHARLES GRIGGS, Boise
Education Voters donors had a clear motivation
Education Voters of Idaho should have disclosed the source of its contributions. By disclosing those contributors we see why they were made. J.B. Scott and the Albertsons Foundation have given millions of dollars to our schools and have seen no improvement. Why continue to provide funds to the schools if the teachers union refuses to change its ways?
The reference to right to work as cause for Idaho workers to have lost financial ground does not support the facts. From 2003 to 2008, real personal income in Idaho soared by 20.2 percent. Thats more than the 50-state average of 12.9 percent and double the non right-to-work state average of 10.3 percent. From 1999 to 2007, the number of Idahoans with job-based private health insurance grew by 15.7 percent. That compares to the nationwide increase of 0.4 percent and the minus-2.2 percent experienced by non right-to-work states.
Unions hate right to work because it takes away their power to force union membership and collect forced dues on those workers. I respect the right of an individual to join a union, but Ill fight to my death for my right not to be forced into joining a union. Thats what right to work is really all about.
JIM GRAHAM, McCall
A mean-spirited column
This is in reference to the Nov. 1 article by Kevin Richert about the secretive group unmasked. I found the article mean-spirited for calling the persons who donated to EVI only interested in big business and their own moneyed interests. Are they not parents with children and grandchildren that they want a better education for too? Just because they have a different opinion than yours and the liberal media, you attack them. I noticed you didnt say anything bad about the other side, the vote-no persons. How dare you say that about Mr. Joe Scott, when he has donated over $500 million the past several years for better education and the children? I think you owe him an apology.
LOIS HARPHAM, Meridian