In response to Senate votes out Common Core (June 6):
Keep Common Core; dont use these three Rs on education
The writer is a math coach.
Last week, Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said: People have the right to think whatever they want and no one should be able to stop them; however, it becomes a problem when they have a non-objectively based belief system and they are in control. Our state legislators are attempting to non-objectively control the educational standards by using these 3 Rs: replace, revise and refinance the Common Core.
The Common Core was developed by a work team led by Bill McCallum, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at the University of Arizona, mathematicians, educators and DOEs from all over the country. Its objectives: to prepare students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in college and work, ensure consistent expectations regardless of ZIP code, provide clear, focused guideposts and offer economies of scale. Do our state legislators think they have the expertise to design something better?
Broaden teacher pay talks to include all compensation
The teacher pay discussion has focused on only one side of compensation salary. But the total compensation package should be used to value the position. Add health care, pension benefits and annual hours worked to compare total compensation. Teachers contribute less percentage-wise to benefit programs than most other comparable jobs. Perhaps teacher salaries should be increased, but their retirement and healthcare changed to more employee-funded, like in private industry.
In response to Caught on the crosswalk (June 8):
Increase bicycle safety on South Boulevard too
The writer is former executive director of the Charlotte Area Bicycle Alliance:
Congestion and safety issues on South Boulevard shed a badly needed spotlight on overall mobility woes of the Queen City. At least pedestrians already have some sidewalks even though they are in poor shape and are dysfunctional. The same cannot be said for bicyclists, who currently have virtually no infrastructure. Cycle tracks, green lanes, and buffered lanes, rather than the standard 5 foot bike lane, are gaining acceptance in other U.S. cities to ensure an adequate level of safety on busy arterial streets.
Such a pilot project along the South Boulevard right-of-way would demonstrate a commitment that anyone, even a school child, could safely navigate by bike in an increasingly urban environment.
Tell N.C. lawmakers you like campaign finance proposals
A bright spot in short session legislative action is that two bills have passed the N.C. House with bipartisan support and passed the first reading in the N.C. Senate. They would increase accountability for money spent on election campaigns and improve transparency about big money in politics.
HB918 would increase disclosure of outside spending groups by requiring them to file campaign finance reports in a more timely fashion. HB919 would require all statewide candidates who raise or spend more than $5,000 and any candidate who raises or spends more than $10,000 to file campaign finance reports electronically.
Our legislators need to hear from voters that these changes are an important first step toward knowing who is funding campaigns before election day.
In response to Obama to announce student debt plan (June 8):
Student loan debt changes just another Obama scheme
This administration stresses the need for everyone to go to college and readily makes certain funds available. President Obama also made certain the majority of loans are payable to the federal government.
Add this to all the other goodies the administration uses to secure voter indenture and its clear there is no limit to the sleazy schemes it will use to retain power.
In response to Obamas handling of Bergdahl release a huge disappointment (June 8 Forum):
On President Obamas incompetence, we told you so
Herb Stark, at least you are willing to admit you were wrong in voting for Obama. We tried to tell you but you wouldnt listen. Still others continue to try and defend Obamas incompetence. Lets hope they wise up as well.
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