Del Norte Triplicate Readers

Educational woes stem from sense of dependency on system

While it was inspirational to read Josh Norris' take on educational problems in Del Norte county ("Consultants are not solution to Del Norte's education problems," Dec. 8), he seems to be putting forth the same solutions that have dominated the educational community for five decades, more teachers, smaller class size, and more money.

Those solutions haven't made much progress either. I don't wish to marginalize these as answers to our educational woes, but I think that public education took a systemic left turn about 50 years ago when it stopped trusting most parents to do the right thing when it came to their children. I think most teachers realize that they aren't the biggest influence in a child's life, but can greatly influence the outcome in any child's life.

In today's society where many children come from homes rich or poor,

without any direction it would be a daunting task for any teacher to

rectify a poor outcome. Until society regains the concepts of success

and failure with consequences, the value of an education will continue

to decline. Children now can come or not come to school with almost the

same results. Our entitlement systems have overtaken common sense. Young

adults can graduate from high school, spend hundreds of thousands of

borrowed dollars and many years to get a college education that leaves

them unemployed with no hope of getting a job.

The bottom line is that rich or poor, too many children wander

through their educational life with no clear goal for a successful

future. They, and this is the key word, depend on the system currently

in place in our educational community to collectively manufacture an

outcome, instead of becoming an individual who works very hard toward an

individual goal best suited for that child.

Too often that collectively manufactured path results in undisclosed

failure and the road to more poverty and dependance on an ever-growing

big government entitlement society. Until the educational community

understands that it can't do everything for every child and begins to

expect that the child and his parents will actually do something to

foster that individual child's path to success, there is very little

that more money, more teachers and more programs will accomplish.

Bribing children to go to school is not an answer. They have to

understand that if they don't go to school their individual future will

be pretty bleak.

Samuel Strait

Crescent City

If Murray can't control meetings, maybe bigger gavel would help

The Dec. 8 article, "Slert to resign and leave area," uses a big word

in the headline, "News comes after evening of acrimony." Acrimony

means "bitter" and "sharp" animosity, especially in speech or behavior.

I would like to point out that speech is one thing and behavior is a

totally different thing. I deeply believe in free speech and it's

something that many times in the last few years my City Council has been

thin-skinned about. Bad behavior is a totally different thing. When he

was mayor, Slert did a good job in controlling the behavior of people

like myself and for this my hat is off to him.

Our new mayor, Kathleen Murray, has a tool to control people if she

will learn how to use it: a gavel. The gavel has an ancient history that

goes back to the Middle Ages in England. A gavel in public meetings is

used to keep order. There is a saying that when someone is out of order,

they have been "gaveled down."

I would like to make the suggestion that we the voters take up a

collection to purchase a big gavel for Ms. Murray, because if she can't

control the meetings, she should step down. The role of leadership calls

for controlling bad behavior, but allowing free speech at the same


Richard Miles

Crescent City