I was disappointed when reading the July 20 article, “Online school franchise will not include public group.” The article failed to emphasize one very important point that is all too often overlooked: All charter schools — including e-schools — are public schools.
So, public educators haven’t been cut out of the picture. All charter schools involve public educators because they are public schools. These innovative schools aren’t all about making a profit. They’re about providing choice in public education to Ohio’s families.
Because of the choices provided by public charter schools such as e-schools, children aren’t trapped in a school that isn’t working for them. Parents have the right and the ability to choose the type of public school that works best for their child.
It’s also worth pointing out that there is no such thing as a for-profit school. Public, online schools don’t make a profit. The public e-school — run by an independent school board — simply contracts with a private provider for a service.
Traditional public school districts across the state do that every day. The only difference is the type of service. But you can’t tell me that textbook companies don’t make a profit. I don’t see any real difference.
Public e-schools are simply that, public. And I am thrilled that more of these innovative schools are opening their digital doors in Ohio.
Ohio eSchool Families & Friends Coalition
Clash of Italian festivals
It was a time of year when our community’ landscape was decorated with billboards, yard signs, brochures, flyers and raffle tickets all announcing various Italian-American festival celebrations.
Unfortunately, this year they were held within a week of each other, and two on the same weekend. As as a community we need to stand up and say, “Space them out so we can support and enjoy all three without being inconvenienced.”
If we don’t discourage this practice, it’s possible in the near future all three will be held on the same date. This situation puts the community at a disadvantage; it’s a bad thing.
As a past and present member of a few Italian clubs, I feel they must come together and agree not to fracture each other’s collarbone, repair the damage already done and try to work together in harmony.
Until this happens, and more civility is shown, many will not partake or support any club events in this area, except those of their own club.
Is this what we wish to pass on to our younger members, the future leaders of the clubs and organizers of festivals? Will they continue to foster our Italian cultural traditions under these conditions?
Perhaps the Council of the Italian American Societies should again lead the way and invite all societies back into the council, work together and not object to other festivals, for each has a justifiable agenda.
I don’t pretend to know everything that’s going on, and why, but I do share the concerns of others about what is happening, and therefore suggest they try to look for solutions.
Something has to be done and soon, before we risk losing it all.
Let the clubs and festival organizers know they must plan more sensibly beginning now for next year.
Even for jurors, a difficult verdict
On July 18, there were two letters on the Zimmerman trial.
One a short note sympathizing with the parents of Trayvon Martin (“After the Zimmerman trial”).
The second letter shines with prejudice (“Verdict in perspective”). Zimmerman’s statements about what happened were shown to be full of lies. He said Trayvon Martin jumped out from behind the bushes and attacked. The trouble is, there were no bushes. Zimmerman’s injuries to the back of his head were two relatively small cuts that didn’t need sutures.
Zimmerman’s call to the police contained several words that showed severe animus toward Martin. If you listen carefully, the calls for help came just seconds before young Martin was killed. Common sense says that Martin was the one in trouble.
On a Hannity show on Fox News four months after the killing and before the trial, Zimmerman stated it was “God’s will” that Martin died.
As a side note, three or four jury members have been provided counseling because the requirements for manslaughter provided by the judge were confusing. Apparently, Zimmerman was found innocent because of these instructions and the jurors are distressed by the decision they had rendered.
James H. Trapkin
Strong in the Rust Belt
For the past few decades, we have heard politicians from other parts of the country get some sort of bizarre satisfaction from the loss of influence of the “Rust Belt” in Washington, D.C. Any reports that imply this region is destined to be dumped into the ash heap of history are not only premature, but insulting.
After all, this region not only kept our Union together during the 1860s, it also provided more than its fair share of blood, sweat and tears to save this planet from tyranny in the 1940s.
No other land mass this size has been home to so many people who have such a unique blend of being pro-union, pro-justice, proactive and productive in manufacturing, agriculture, education, innovation, statesmanship and other categories.
Those patriots were neither perfect nor pure, for only God can claim those qualities, but they were consistent enough to make history. These people knew how to promote true democracy and capitalism, instead of mob rule and survival of the fittest.
It’s one thing to study history and quite another to learn from it, mistakes and all. The Rust Belt has already learned how to transform itself into a conveyor belt that keeps delivering ideas and innovations.
Two local examples include the Polymer Research Center at the University of Akron and the Liquid Crystals Institute at Kent State.
Being unique makes each of us special; staying united keeps all of us strong. Combining these concepts is what makes the U.S. especially strong.
Michael J. Walzer