— The News Courier encourages letters to the editor. Submissions should be no more than 400 words and should include a name, address and telephone number for verification. Submissions that do not meet requirements are subject to editing. Send letters by noon on Thursdays to P.O. Box 670, Athens, AL, 35613, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
No to Common Core
“Core” curriculum is a scheme to indoctrinate our children politically with a liberal ideology. Many parents and teachers believe that common core is the dumbing down of America’s children.
The public schools were seized in America in the mid-1960s by the federal government and they have been taking more and more control from the local and state level ever since.
In the mid-‘60s America was ranked third in the world in public education. Today we are ranked 28th in the world and will continue to fall as long as we allow the federal government and national teachers unions to control public education. Go back to the early ‘60s when we were third in the world in public education and learn from the past.
The common core values in the ‘60s was teaching love of county, right from wrong, good and bad, family values, prayer, work ethics and family responsibilities. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the teachers that taught me at Piney Chapel Junior High and Elkmont High School in the ‘60s through the mid-‘70s, because these were truly great educations not only in academics but in life. If we want public education to be near the top again, go back and use what worked in the past, we don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
President Ronald Reagan said it best: “The most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”
A quote from a public school teacher: “Education has become a political football lately as funding battles and union busting has become a priority over actual student learning. Largely this is due to school systems becoming controlled more and more by state and federal decree rather than by local school boards and individual teachers. ... The fact is, I would be a much better teacher if I were not constrained by state and federal bureaucrats most of whom have not been in a classroom since graduation.”
Additionally, as power over curriculum is concentrated at the top, there is a concerted effort to push various agendas within the public school system that most people would be shocked by.
Call your local and state representatives and demand that they repeal Common Core in this legislative session.
Ronnie G. Coffman
Support Common Core Standards
This year I began my 26th year as an English teacher in the Athens City Schools, and I am finishing my 32nd year of teaching. After reading the misinformation being imputed to the Common Core Standards, I felt that I should add my voice as one who has read the standards from kindergarten through grade 12.
These standards are similar to the ones that we currently teach. The three major additions are to make students read better and build knowledge, to analyze arguments and write responses with evidence, and to understand more complex vocabulary.
We have just evaluated new textbooks for reading and literature. If a person were to scan the table of contents, he or she would see classic American authors. Names such as Edward Taylor, Jonathan Edwards, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Longfellow, Emerson, Poe, Lincoln, Dickinson, Twain, London, Hemingway, Hurston, Frost, and others are featured.
The major difference from our current text is that the questions force the students to go back to the story or poem for evidence for their answers. A simple “yes” or “no” answer will not be adequate.
One of the many teaching hats that I wear is that of a Bible teacher at Central Church of Christ. I went back and reread the standards to see if there were any concepts that I could not in good conscience use in my classroom. I did not find any. I did not find “imbedded extreme left wing, radical, socialist, atheist, progressive, communist ideals.” I am offended with the implication that I or my English colleagues would inculcate our students with such an ideology.
Our students in Athens get their first shot at scholarship money through the ACT. I take this very seriously and seek to prepare my students to do their very best in English and reading. I want them to knock their scores out of the ballpark! The ACT will be aligned with the Common Core Standards, which have been adopted by 45 states. If I am not allowed to teach this more rigorous material, then where will that leave my students and their parents in the hunt for tuition money?
Alabama has made great strides in educational excellence. Let’s go forward, not backward.
Athens High School
Andy George is good teacher
I have been reading all the things that have been said about Andy George, and now for my 2 cents worth ... I was there the day, four years ago that the child twisted her knee in front of the old gym. I helped put her in Andy’s lap for the ride to the nurse’s office. This was the fastest and easiest way to go. I helped hold doors for him to go and there was nothing wrong with anything he did. Would anything have been said about it if a male teacher that could walk had picked her up and took her?
Rilee was in his room, Murphy has him for Scholars Bowl and I hope Kyndel has him when she gets there. Andy has been to our birthday parties, ballgames and even visited Murphy in the hospital.
Andy has been a good teacher and he makes kids want to learn. I wish that I had a teacher like him when I was coming up and maybe I would have liked school more.
Honor Boy Scouts and Scouting
The Alabama Legislature Meritorious Scouting Award and Certificate of Appreciation has been established and will be presented by the ASF Foundation to all Boy Scouts of Alabama and Chartered Organizations that Host Scouting Units wishing to receive the awards on Friday, June 21, at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Arena.
This is a statewide ceremony to honor Boy Scouts of Alabama and Chartered Organizations that Host Scouting Units. The presentation will occur during the ASF Foundation State Games XXXI Opening Ceremonies and any active scout is eligible.
The Honoring Our Heroes program is part of the ASF Foundation’s commitment to teach Alabama student-athletes good citizenship skills by highlighting mentoring programs dedicated to Alabama’s youth.
Online registration for Boy Scouts wishing to receive the Alabama Legislature
Meritorious Scouting Award and host organizations wishing to receive Certificate of Appreciation is now available by visiting the Honoring Our Heroes section at www.asffoundation.org. For more information, please contact the ASF Foundation at 1-800-467-0422.
Please help us communicate the opportunity all eligible Boy Scouts of Alabama and Chartered Organizations that Host Scouting Units have to be honored
and receive the Alabama Legislature Meritorious Scouting Award and Certificate of Appreciation. ASF Foundation will honor Girl Scouts in 2014.
Chris Wilkins, communications director
U.S. a toothless tiger
Our politicians need to recognize that there will be no truce with Islam. Direct action, by our government, is political speak for actual “wet” work, which has been replaced with the term “engagement,” which is diplomatic speak for capitulation.
There are hundreds of good, decent Islamic people around the world, but there are not enough of these types of Muslims. They lack the collective will and desire to not only stand up to the violence being carried out in their name, but to reform the very tenets of their religion that calls for that violence.
We cannot only worry about what violence has been executed against us, but we have to be able to better predict where it is going to strike. Our intelligence operatives are going to have to be in the right place at the right time, or, as taught in ice hockey, skate where the puck is going to be, not where it has been. Contracting out a portion of our intelligence work to other countries and their operatives with hopes of getting better results is a failure. We cannot accept a national leadership that bows to Islamic Saudi kings, gives $250 billion to the Islamic nation of Egypt, military equipment to other Islamic countries and sweet talks to the Russians without taking more direct action against Iran and North Korea.
The United States has become the toothless tiger, reducing our military strength and our financial stability to appease those unwilling to support themselves.
Social programs are not going to save this nation and its hard working citizens while passing out checks to the liberals’ pet projects and third world countries. Obama is a vocal proponent of social engineering and the redistribution of wealth. History shows that once a democracy goes down that road, things never end well. Each and every time the democracy collapses. As England’s Prime Minister Thatcher so aptly put it, the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.
Why are those unwilling to pay their way or want a free ride to citizenship always demonstrating in our streets? When are the real citizens going to show some backbone and strongly respond to this capitulation to those least interested in the best interests of our nation? When are we going to call terrorism what it is? Islamic fanaticism against the United States. Wake up, citizens, before it’s too late.
Quentin D. Anderson Sr.