Laura Ofobike’s column (“Scapegoating the Common Core,” May 21) presents this new experiment in K-12 education as “an imperfect but necessary plan.” I agree with the “imperfect” part, but is it “necessary”? I don’t think so.
First, Ofobike says the Common Core is not a federal takeover of education. If not, how do you define a takeover? While it’s true that the Obama administration did not initiate the Common Core, President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have certainly embraced it, and federal dollars have been used to entice states to accept it.
Next, Ofobike says the Common Core is optional; the states were not coerced into adopting it. Technically, that is true, but if a state wanted a Race to the Top federal grant or a waiver from No Child Left Behind, it had to accept the Common Core. The lure of federal dollars was enough coercion for most states; only five decided to forego the Common Core standards.
Finally, Ofobike admits there are “serious issues” with the Common Core, but she thinks they can be worked out over time. I ask: When did the government ever satisfactorily fix a program with “serious issues”? I think the answer is never.
States using Common Core must (a) spend a ton of money in teacher training, new equipment and teaching materials; (b) use the program’s English and math standards as a whole, without modification; (c) administer federal online student assessments; and (d) contribute student data to an extensive and intrusive national database.
Research shows that national education standards have no positive effect on student learning. So why waste time and money on a program like the Common Core? It’s no wonder that several states, including Ohio, are having second thoughts about this attempted federal takeover of K-12 education. We need to abandon the Common Core in Ohio and return to our tradition of local control.
Powerful bureau, open to abuse
As usual, your May 21 editorial “Confirm Cordray” blurs the facts about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Richard Cordray.
He was a recess appointment made when the Senate was not in recess. Two courts have ruled so, in the District of Columbia and Philadelphia.
The Dodd-Frank bill authorizing this bureau states that the Senate must confirm the director. This agency has very wide powers. There are departments that initiate research and financial education, departments to assure fair lending and departments to initiate investigations into abuse, a term that evidently is not defined in the law.
So what is abuse? That which President Obama deems to be abuse?
Congress will not determine this agency’s budget, but the Federal Reserve Board will fund it, the amount to be 12 percent of what federal banks spend on their operations. The bureau is led by a single appointee, rather than by a board appointed by both parties.
In an effort to support this president, you fail your readers in continually relating only one side of the issue. That is not journalism, but a precursor to tyranny.
On the road
How is it possible for someone to have 81 municipal court charges in 20 years and still be out on the street (“UA officer shoots motorist,” May 17)? Something has to be wrong here. How many times do you have to get your hands slapped before corrective action is taken?
This person needed help years ago. With computer systems, let’s take care of repeat offenders.
Treasure of a zoo
We were so happy to read the May 2 letter that Jack Hanna wrote about our zoo (“Enthusiasm for the zoo”). We have been telling people for a long time, “If you haven’t been to the Akron Zoo in a while, you must go.” After they visit, they all agree that it is amazing and can hardly believe that this is the Akron Zoo.
The stories in the newspaper recently were so accurate as to how much the zoo has grown and continues to grow. We were there recently and saw the lion exhibit soon after Mandisa arrived. She and Tamarr, the male, make a handsome couple. We also enjoy The Journey to the Reef, the Komodo dragons and look forward to the new Grizzly Ridge opening in July.
We have been members of the zoo since our granddaughter, Nicole, was 2 years old. She is a junior in college and has a part-time job at the zoo in the gift shop. We make sure she gets to adopt a penguin each year, as she has since her first visit. We all have such happy memories of our times at the zoo.
All the tax levies passed to support the zoo have always been used the way that the president, Pat Simmons, has promised. Support should be given to “our” zoo. It is truly a treasure in this area. Your money is used in the zoo, and we all can see that.
Because of its size, you can enjoy the exhibits with your family at a leisurely pace and not be exhausted at the end of the day.
Betty and Tom Lucas
Gosnell and the abortion industry
The May 15 editorial about Dr. Kermit Gosnell (Gosnell’s ‘house of horrors’ ”) and the May 16 letter about abortion rights (“Abortion rights for all women”) are a startling revelation of the immorality and irresponsibility in our country.
The editorial infers that the horrors perpetrated in Philadelphia resulted from efforts of pro-lifers to “roll back reproductive rights.” This same inference was also made by the National Abortion Federation. The inferences are ludicrous.
When the killing of an unborn child became legal, it was supposed to be safe and rare. Only the legality has remained. Abortion is not a reproductive right. The reality is that the Supreme Court hid abortion behind a women’s right to privacy.
We have worked very hard to establish strict laws to reduce abortions and keep women safe. The lucrative abortion industry, the NAF and others are to uphold standards of practice, but instead they blame any horrors on pro-life advocates.
NAF knew that Gosnell’s clinic was unsafe in 2009, but didn’t report it. It should be responsible. What’s even worse is that the murders Gosnell committed wouldn’t be considered a crime if he had killed the child six inches earlier. The child is a life both in and out of the womb.
Abortion is not health care. It is the termination of a human life. Women do have a right to health care during all stages of pregnancy. The problem is that a majority of women use abortion as birth control.
Studies have also proved that the use of contraceptives has led to increased casual sex, increased unplanned pregnancies and increased sexually transmitted diseases.
The letter writer says “no rights” for the fetus. So should our elderly be terminated on demand, too?
I have peacefully prayed at abortion facilities for years. I have seen shouting matches and more, but can only recall one incident locally in which a pro-death worker was allegedly assaulted, and that was questionable. However, there have been multiple occasions when pro-death workers verbally assaulted me simply for praying or talking to pregnant women.
There are police records from when a facility employee pushed a pro-life advocate into traffic for trying to retrieve his sign, which a worker took.
Gosnell thought he was above the law. He became rich operating an unsafe facility, abused his medical status and killed innocent life. This is not rare. The media ignore it, but the proof exists.
Right to Life of Northeast Ohio
Building careers, brick by brick
I would like to give credit to the masonry program at Buchtel and Matt Simpson. After reading an article (“Masonry careers begin with solid foundations,” March 29) about how this program works, I decided to call to see whether the program did work off campus. I was greatly surprised it did, and I set an appointment with Simpson. He was very prompt in arriving and was very excited to take on the project of redoing my chimney.
A few weeks later, Simpson and seniors Darnell Hubbard and Dominic Stroud arrived to work on my project. The students were courteous and interested in learning the dynamics of the project. They kept the area clean and all did a great job. I am very pleased.
I highly recommend that Summit County residents give these students a chance to not only help you but to help themselves with their career choice and build confidence in themselves with a job well done.
As a former Copley school employee, I know our children need as much praise and accolades as possible. This builds their self-esteem and future work ethic.
Again, many thanks to Simpson, Hubbard and Stroud. I appreciate all you did.