May I have a pinch of space in Viewpoints to comment on the editorial in today’s Telegraph opposing House Bill 243 because some view it as a voucher program that would move public school dollars to private schools? The editorial used the same old saw that such program would “skim” precious public school dollars from the needy and give them to parents who already have boxes of unneeded cash. It further laments such voucher program would take millions in administrative fees that could be better used in the public school system, and I might add, for expenditures such as the Bibb County school board has been paying for a local promise center.
Let me play the Devil’s advocate on this issue, why not give each family the amount of tax monies each year collected for the education of children in that home and let them decide whether to buy public or private schooling for the students?
Sure, such voucher program would reduce the size of our school systems but that may be a good idea. By all standards, our local public schools have an outstanding success rate in student drop out and failure. Perhaps a smaller system could be administered more effectively with fewer tax dollars and those trends would be reversed.
All my siblings and I attended public schools and my children did, too, but the classrooms of that era no longer exist. We used private schools for our grandchildren and two are pursuing military careers and three have completed college with honors.
Private schools and quasi-private schools are here to stay and families that pay school taxes should be allowed to draw a portion of that money out of the revenue coffers to use as tuition for their school of choice. I submit a well-managed voucher program will not hurt public education, but it will make it smaller and more efficient. Competition always improves the quality of a product.
In past years we have tried to bring public education up to the level of private education in grades K-12 by throwing more tax money into it, but it has not worked. Let’s try something new now. Let’s try a voucher program.
-- John G. Kelley Jr.
Power of believing
Thomas Edison is credited with saying “Genius is one percent inspiration, and 99 percent perspiration.” Also, “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” My favorite modern American philosopher, Mortimer Adler, in his book “How to Speak, How to Listen,” said that you should never be afraid to teach material slightly above the level of your student, because people have an innate desire to know more, and will rise to the occasion.
I just watched a TED Talk by Professor Carol Dweck entitled, “The power of believing that you can improve.” (The Power of Yet.) If you Google Carol Dweck, along with her bio, I think you can watch the video of this talk. I can only imagine the constraints that you labor under, but in perfect world wouldn’t it be wonderful if you had the time and resources to teach every student until they “got it.”
-- Tim Talcott
Thank the good Lord for global warming. Otherwise we’d be freezing to death!
-- Don Hall
No Bob White and no, Dr. Miguel Faria, I am not a sheep nor am I being led to slaughter, nor am I paranoid. Get over yourself, mine was an opinion and I never called names. Never, in any of my letters have I called names. But it seems OK for White to do so. I have opinions. White has them and so does Faria. Great that’s what it is all about. As for naiveté I have served 21 years in the military. I have lived in countries that have dictators. I have a good education and a good family. I have nothing to fear from a police camera. I am not living in fear of a camera. Whether White or Faria like it or not, I do not believe you will be stopped and searched without a warrant, nor do I live in fear of my house being searched without a warrant. Libertarianism is passé, get over it.
-- Jim Huber
Before falling for Miguel Faria’s paranoid rant, check out his website. The world is out to get you. Run, run, the sky is falling. I read both his website and his diatribe in Friday’s paper. Not impressed. I do think that Faria, Geraldine Parker and Bob White need to stop coming to the attention of the police so they won’t be searched in their houses and have their pictures taken. I would also like to know who, besides Geraldine Parker, has been stopped by the police to have their pictures taken. I never have. Maybe White gets stopped a lot, or Faria.
But then, I am just another sheep. That’s so easy to see, isn’t it?
-- Michael Collins
Which do you want?
The next time Republicans complain about the standard unemployment rate (U3), remind them that the unemployment rate when George W. Bush left office was 7.8 percent, after inheriting a 4.2 percent rate from Bill Clinton. The unemployment rate for January was 5.7 percent -- a reduction of 4.3 percent from the highest rate recorded in 2009 (10 percent).
When Republicans counter with what the “real unemployment rate” (U6) is, let them know that the “U6” has fallen at an even greater amount than the standard unemployment rate (U3) has -- from 17.1 percent in 2009 to 11.3 percent in January 2015 -- a reduction of 5.8 percent.
Of course, as their talking points continue to fall, they are certain to bring up current-day Labor Participation Rates (LPR). They will naturally point to the 62.7 percent (December 2014) LPR -- as if the LPR is the dominant indicator of the current job market. That is interesting, given that the historical average LPR is but 63.01 percent over the past 50 years, per TrendingEconomics.com.
But when they do bring up the LPR, this is where the game ends. Simply ask them this and be ready for that “deer in the headlights look.” Which would you rather have -- a LPR of 64.6 percent, 66.2 percent, as it was in 2008 and 2009 when our economy lost 9 million jobs, or a current LPR of 62.7 percent -- 62.9 percent, with roughly 250,000 jobs being added each month and nearly 12 million jobs added over the past 59 months?
-- Keith Berkner