Letters to the Editor Dec. 15, 2011

By Del Norte Triplicate Readers December 15, 2011 03:58 pm

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 time.

Richard Miles

Crescent City