Learning in early yearsis critical for children
Idahos debate over education reform has covered a variety of topics that are considered essential for quality education, except early childhood education. Including early childhood education in this dialogue is necessary to give every child equal footing when they start school, improve third-grade reading scores, increase graduation rates, and reduce public spending on grade repetition and special education.
The early years are a time of remarkable brain growth in children and lay the foundation for subsequent learning and development.
According to a recent IdahoKIDS Count report, 44 percent of Idahos children are not academically prepared to enter kindergarten, and 37 percent are not ready to enter first grade.
The gaps that exist as children enter schools will only become more severe with time if we do not provide programs to create equal learning opportunities for all children. Early education serves as a critical tool to balance the developmental and educational playing field so that all children, regardless of their backgrounds, enter school healthy and ready to learn.
By recognizing the impact quality learning experiences and environments have on young children, we will prepare children for learning long before they step through the school doors on their first day of class.
BETH OPPENHEIMER, Boise
Stand was appreciated
I would like to applaud Rep. Mike Simpson for taking a stand on Rep. Raul Labradors congressional conduct. Simpson was totally correct to call Labrador out and chastise him in a public forum. In my opinion, Labrador is an egotistical, opportunistic, grandstanding bully whose offshore fundraising and callous remarks do little to represent Idaho in a positive light. Thanks Mike!
ROBERT DENNIS DZUCK, Boise
Report can have lasting implications
I found it nauseating to think about the implications of your recent report regarding pedophilia having a biological base. If this notion goes mainstream, no child will be safe. Just as homosexuals are now welcome to openly display their orientation, pedophiles will demand the right to advertise in a new category of Craigslist singles. I can imagine the ads: Good daddy looking for young person to love. All ages under 10. Girls preferred. No body hair. $1,000 per weekend.
They will demand social acceptance. They will expect to be free to invite children into their homes, to be parents(both natural and adoptive), or to become teachers, youth leaders, crossing guards, school bus drivers and perhaps to establish Neverland-like resorts for children and adults to enjoy together. I would love to think that such conditions would be considered absurd, but then I never thought homosexual couples would be marrying and adopting children either!
MARLENE PARTRIDGE, Garden Valley
In reference to the Jan. 22 article on research being done concerning pedophilia, I want to point out the red flags of danger to children written all over this so-called research. Could pseudo-research such as this be a first step in normalizing and even de-criminalizing abhorrent behavior such as this? Can you imagine the consequences to the victims? Surely protecting our children from pedophiles should be of the greatest concern to all of us. Would you want to grow up in a society where you are considered a sexual object and had no safe place to just be a child?
I applaud Lawrence Wasdens call to pass laws to protect children from sex trafficking, but this may not be enough if pedophilia is normalized in our society. We must all stand against this false research and do everything possible to protect our children from sexual abuse. I sincerely hope these red flags I see in this research will be debunked by real science and buried the drawer of history labeled shameful.
PEGGY L. BALE, Nampa
People still have time to discuss options
On Jan. 22, there was a district office board meeting to change the zones of Caldwell elementary schools because some schools are up to/over capacity and a rezoning is necessary. I understand that a rezoning is absolutely necessary, but many of the parents of students didnt know about the meeting nor the rezoning of elementary schools, so not many attended this latest meeting to give their input and ask questions.
This should be made way more publicly, the committee will decide between two proposals of the zoning change in March, but it is not a public meeting. I think this is a very important thing for parents to have known about this a long time ago. It effects a lot of parents and students. The committee will have another meeting on Feb. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. for public input before making a final decision so that more parents will have a chance to add their input, and the committee can find out exactly how many people are for or against each prop, as well as be forewarned and prepared for it. Please help me make this a heck of a lot more public before its too late.
MELISSA COURTRIGHT, Caldwell
New plan not welcome
So, Karen Ellis and some of her fans are trying to set up a new farmers market. The excellent existing market is apparently not good enough anymore. And this new market wants to operate in proximity to the existing market; in other words, apart, but not too far apart not to leech existing customers.
We have an excellent market Downtown; we do not need a second one. If Ellis and her gang want to truly help, let them set up in some un-served area of town. How about a Bench location?
Right now, this whole thing smells like last years spoiled organic produce.
MICHAEL SMITH, Boise
Net metering program will hurt consumers
In reference to IPC-E-12-27:
As ratepayers in Idaho, we wish to strongly object to Idaho Powers proposal to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission regarding its (IPs) net metering program.
Such a proposal is really a dirty trick. IP and its employees encouraged us to install our solar system by telling us the need for solar power is greatest in the summer and would be the most helpful for them and for the entire renewable energy program. Now IP is asking us to give up our kw incentives and power. Tricks such as this will certainly not encourage the growth of energy independence for the state of Idaho. We are surprised that IP, with its involvement in renewable power, would propose such a change.
Please, let us not forget that private building projects such as ours provide local jobs, permit fees and revenue as well.
The rules for the net metering program are good as they stand. Therefore we ask that IPUC to reject the IP proposal which changes how they (IP) charge us for our help in providing energy to their grid for the benefit of the state of Idaho.
DANIEL AND KAREN THEE, Marsing