to the editor from this week's Chronicle:
To the Editor:
We have been reading about Tom Luna's reform for public education
and are worried about his idea of purchasing lap tops for all incoming
ninth graders and then expecting them all to take two on-line courses each
year. On-line courses are only good for a small portion of students.
Most students need to have a teacher right there keeping them
motivated, and giving hands-on help. Also, our questions are:
Who is going to monitor these on-line kids, especially the ones who
struggle with school and/or the ones who simply canít get motivated to
do their homework without a teacher right there watching them. How
does he expect the rural kids (which Idaho has many of) to do their
on-line homework at home? Idaho taxpayers canít afford to pay
for high-speed broadband for all ninth graders, but how can we force kids
to take on-line classes without backing it up with even more money for
high-speed internet for every kid? Who is going to pay for
the laptops that are broken, lost, or stolen from these ninth graders?
Will Idaho taxpayers have to pay for all of the repairs? Do we put
insurance on all these laptops and if so, can Idaho taxpayers afford the
insurance? What computer company will make all the money from
these laptops? Is it an Idaho company, or will the income from these
be going out-of-state? These are some serious questions, but
again, the most concerning to us is that most of the students would suffer
from being required to do on-line courses. The on-line courses are
good for only a small percentage of self-motivated students. We need
real teachers, in the classrooms, teaching our kids.
If you want to make comments on Luna's plan, go to this website:
www.legislature.idaho.gov and you can go down the left side of the page
and contact them by committee. You can send e-mail letters to the
Education Committee and to the Appropriations Committee. If you don't
know your district, you can search for that, too, and contact your own
senators or representatives. We feel pretty strongly about this,
and hope you do, too.
Karen & Doug Lustig
For the past few months Conoco/Phillips has attempted to move large
loads of oil refining equipment through our area on Highway 12 to Montana.
As a nation we are facing increasing energy costs as the world is using
ever more of the precious resource. The new equipment being hauled
will make the refining process more efficient so that more energy will
be produced from the oil being refined. This will benefit everyone.
A small contingent of local residents in conjunction with well funded outside
interests have been able to stop the shipment of this equipment.
These shipments are large and the company is paying accordingly for the
oversized loads. That being said the any damage to the road will
be minimal if at all and the state will be compensated for any potential
damage. The shipments will be late at night and will have almost
no impact on any tourist trade. There will be short delays for people
traveling the roads but since they will only move late at night few people
will be affected and then only for a short time. The mindset of those
that are opposing the loads is the same mindset that has Clearwater County
schools operating on four day school weeks because there is not enough
funding for five day weeks. This mindset is responsible for the decline
in the timber, mining and manufacturing jobs in America. There has
been criticism of the company because this equipment was manufactured out
of the United States. Because of the regulations and taxes in this
country due to that mindset how could they be built here...They can't even
haul them in this country.
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