Letters to the editor:12-27-2013

December 27, 2013 

Common Core

I’ve written several letters to the editor shouting “Beware! ” regarding the travesty that is Common Core. Today I’m offering a common-sense, viable solution to our discussion:

Trust our teachers. They bring passion to their classrooms, they love our children. They know how to teach a subject, how to engage/motivate our kids, and how to monitor individual progress. Have some faith in people trained to do the job. Put a panel together of teachers with more than 15 years of classroom experience, offer them the best material (which is usually free) from states outscoring Idaho, and have them develop a curriculum for Idaho with a testing system monitoring the results to make Idaho No. 1 in the nation.

Get the feds and profiteers out of Idaho education. Get Mr. Luna (who has never taught) out of education. Quit wasting money we don’t have on an untested system. Let teachers do what they love to do: teach. If they’ve been teaching for 10 years or more, give them all a big raise and cut back on the overhead, such as administrators/ principals making more than $100,000 a year “managing” when the teachers are doing the job we want done! Result: a vast improvement to Idaho education at greatly reduced cost to taxpayers.

SUSAN FRICKEY, Boise

Congress

After reading the comment by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., that Congress was behaving like fourth-graders playing in a sandbox, a couple of thoughts came to mind.

- Congress is not playing in sandboxes, they are playing in mud!

- They certainly aren’t behaving like the fourth-graders I know in Idaho.

After guiding fourth-graders for many years at the Idaho Old Penitentiary, I can say that these students are bright, eager and well-behaved, and their behavior is better than that of Congress.

As for playing in the mud, it has stuck to both the eyes and heart in Congress, making them blind and heartless to the needs of our children. Maybe if they visited their local grade schools on their next recess and watched and learned how they behave and work with each other, instead of listening to the bellowing of elephants and braying of donkeys (maybe mastodons and jackasses are better words), they may wash some of the mud off and start behaving like Idaho fourth-graders.

WALLY TURK, Boise

Winter holidays

As people celebrate the winter solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, Pancha Ganapati, Kwanzaa, Bodhi Day, Yalda and Sol Invictus, it is instructive to consider the origins of our winter celebrations.

Analyses of the lunar soil samples returned by the Apollo astronauts combined with studies of Earth and orbital calculations are providing key insights.

More than 4 billion years ago, one (and possibly more) planet-size objects hit the early Earth, ripping off its outer layers, which eventually coalesced to form the moon. The impact (or impacts) probably gave the Earth’s rotational axis its tilt (about 23 degrees) that in turn has given us our seasons.

So as you celebrate whatever winter holiday you choose, remember that “the axial tilt is the reason for the season.”

GARY L. BENNETT, Emmett

Humane Society

Perhaps you missed the Nov. 27 article, “Veterinarians target Idaho Humane Society,” during the Thanksgiving rush, yet it is too important to ignore. Some local veterinarians want legislation limiting the services our Idaho Humane Society Veterinary Medical Center provides. Such legislation is a bad idea for animals and our community.

Some facts:

- The Idaho Humane Society (IHS) has cared for neglected, abused and abandoned pets since 1941. Just since 2000, the IHS Veterinary Medical Center has provided more than 100,000 spay/neuter surgeries. Our community is more livable for this effort.

- The IHS Medical Center services go beyond spay and neuter. Homeless pets require treatment for a wide range of injuries and illness. Without IHS, they would have no hope of finding new homes. More would be euthanized.

- Pets adopted from the shelter provide business for Valley veterinarians. The shelter places thousands of new pets into adoptive homes each year and encourages adopters to establish relationships with local veterinarians. The majority of adopters do just that.

Join me in speaking up and telling your representatives and local vets that you support the Idaho Humane Society Veterinary Medical Center. There is more than enough need to go around.

DEB DAVIS, Boise

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