Letters to the Editor - 08-11-2013

August 11, 2013 

Common Core

I don’t get it. People have shown documents/letters signed by Otter and Luna proving federal involvement in Common Core. They’ve shown connections between the NGA/CCSSO (creators and owners of Common Core Standards), Luna (president of CCSSO at the time), and the feds.

They brought national education experts involved in assessing the Common Core standards who ethically refused to endorse the dismal final product (Idahoans’ reaction? “Well, they aren't from Idaho ... well, neither are these standards!”) to us.

They made available documented research showing these are not rigorous, not state-led and certainly not internationally benchmarked as the pundits swear. The only people who saw the standards before forcing them on Idaho were Otter, Luna and a select few legislators.

This program has never been presented to the full Legislature representing Idahoans! So the people trying to get the truth out explaining 400 data points will be collected on each child (available to any “interested researcher”), only 15 percent can be added to content, nothing can be removed, we have to get permission from the federal Department of Education and other member states to withdraw from Common Core ... plus the staggering cost ... are “uninformed” per Club Luna?

SUSAN FRICKEY, Boise

Tom Luna and the State Department of Education claim the new Common Core K-12 standards being implemented in 45 states including Idaho are a “voluntary, state-led effort.” Then can Mr. Luna name two Idaho teachers who were directly involved in developing Common Core? How about one? None?

If the new standards do not work out, can Mr. Luna name someone on our local or state school boards who parents can contact about amending the standards? The answer is no one, because Idaho does not control Common Core.

The fact is Common Core was developed by trade associations and nonprofits based in Washington, D.C., with involvement by the U.S. Department of Education. The fact is Common Core was foisted on the states by the federal government in exchange for federal “stimulus” grants and waivers from No Child Left Behind mandates.

The fact is Common Core is a state-led abdication of control over our K-12 educational curriculum. I think it is time for Idaho parents to raise a ruckus because we have been sold out.

MIKE FISCH, Boise

Luna Wi-Fi

Surely the Statesman's editorial writers have heard of ALEC, The American Legislative Exchange Council, the shadowy group of corporate-funded shysters who want to privatize the entire country? Tom Luna is a disciple of ALEC and his so-called Luna Laws came directly from ALEC. Luna isn’t that smart.

One of the tactics of ALEC is not to form alliances with opponents, but to ram through their agenda in the dark and claim later that they should have included the stakeholders. That’s what Luna did with his nutty laws and that is exactly what he did with this Wi-Fi contract.

That the Statesman buys Luna's lame defense is stupefying. Where have you people been for the last few years? Apparently not around here. It is also stupefying that the Statesman's editorial board finds nothing smelly with the awarding of this contract to a company that lavished Luna with campaign contributions. Really? Your collective smellers aren't functioning properly. By the way ... I don’t need a couple of editorial writers who barely got off the last stagecoach telling me to back off. If you won't keep an eye on Luna, we — his critics — will.

KEITH HULL, Garden Valley

ACHD

Hurrah for Mayor Dave Bieter in his fight with the ACHD. Though he is arguing in favor of big business, I feel he should expand his complaints. Has anybody looked at our dirt alleys? Used to be, the ACHD resurfaced them fall and spring, now it’s only when a person gets stuck in the ruts and potholes and calls them because they are cheaper than calling a tow truck.

Has anybody looked at our streets? Used to see street sweepers run each side every two weeks. Last time I saw one it was early spring. Soon I won’t be able to park in front, the weeds between the streets and curb are beginning to grow too high won’t let me open the car door.

Do I expect anybody to do anything about it, realistically? No. It’s just my way to rant and rave about what we’ve lost.

ROBERT TAYLOR, Boise

Rep. Labrador

Lt. Gov. Brad Little came to Jerome recently and told us that Idaho’s roads aren’t keeping up with its population growth. Well, duh! We knew that. What we don’t know is when he’s going to fix it.

Tom Luna’s at it again, trying to slip the ALEC agenda in, one piece at a time. The puppetmasters and their puppet.

Raul Labrador uses Sunday morning talk shows as his bully pulpit to badmouth the president, the only thing he seems capable of doing. The intelligent always encounter opposition from mediocre minds.

Has Raul ever been Time Magazine’s Man of the Year? Did Raul win a Nobel Peace Prize? Did Raul eliminate bin Laden? Nope.

Did Raul help immigrant children win a pathway to citizenship? Did Raul save the auto industry? Did Raul put politics aside and help the Hurricane Sandy victims? Nope. Has Raul done anything worthwhile for Idaho since he was elected? Nope. Do I want Raul in my lifeboat? Nope.

It wouldn’t matter if Obama did everything right. Raul has an agenda. Should Raul ever get anything right, I might change my mind about ... nah, that’s not gonna happen.

KEN WHITE, Twin Falls

Gas prices

Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, is a small, resort-type town. Expectedly, prices for most commodities are a bit higher than they would be in bigger cities. Not so for Sinclair gasoline, which, at last report, is at least 20 cents a gallon cheaper than it is in the Treasure Valley. The local fuel distributers are overcharging their consumers. While this probably is not illegal, it certainly is immoral.

PAUL F. MUHONEN, Boise

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