Public education misconceptions
I am a public school teacher who is continuously amazed at the outrageous comments in the rants and raves. In the rant "A laughing matter," the writer believes teachers brag about student performance and how things are improving in the classroom. They are surely misinformed. All bragging to the news media is done by county office administrators when it comes to the FCAT standardized test results. Teachers must get administrative approval before they are permitted to make any press releases what so ever. That would include improvements in classroom education.
Teachers are not free to teach as they see fit. Most subject areas are given pacing guides in our local school district that dictate what and to what degree topics are to be covered and for how long. If the students do not master a concept there is no additional time given to re-teach the concepts, teachers must keep pace with the district pacing guidelines or risk poor evaluation scores. Teachers do not set the number of days in a school year nor do they determine the number of hours in a class period or school day. Teachers in effect have little to no say in the day to day operations of the school or district calendars.
Middle schools classes have been shortened by five minutes per class to allow for a 30 minute EPIC period at the end of each school day. During the EPIC period students either read for 30 minutes in their EPIC class or theoretically are able to receive remediation from one of their other teachers in another classroom while the that teacher is still with their EPIC class. This all came about by a District level administrative decision. A small group of teachers from each middle school were sent to a four day in-service training in Professional Learning Communities. This in-service training was much like an Infomercial on TV. All of the PLC shareholders were pitching the benefits of the program with the hopes of signing on another school district to reap their profits. Unfortunately our administration signed us up even with the knowledge that we could not implement the PLC program without disregarding the current state and district curriculum and classroom seat time requirements. Teachers have begged school level administrators to discontinue with the program and return the 5 minutes of class time to each class period. The County office administrators will not listen to the teachers or school level administrators.
In the rant "Education Failure" the writer expects a teacher to teach Patriotism. Students now take Civics in seventh grade as of the 2012-13 school year. In their civics class they learn about the three branches of the Federal Government and how they work. In eighth grade students take American History and learn the history of our country from the first inhabitants who came to America 12,000 years ago up to the present day. That is a lot of history for an eighth grader to take in within a 180 day school year. Patriotism is something that comes from the home and family not from a classroom teacher.
The reality is Public education is a reflection of our current society. Those children who come from homes that value and promote education have the opportunity to receive a solid education. Those children who come from homes that do not value and promote education miss out on their education unless they are self-driven to achieve. Teacher can only attempt to motivate their students to learn and must count on their parents or extended family to be motivational forces in their lives as well.
Those who have a problem with the current state of education need to volunteer in their local schools and be a part of the solution instead of hurling criticisms. When they do they will see what it's like being a public school teacher and then they can address the woes of public education with those who are truly in charge, school superintendents and their county office administrators and state and federal politicians.
Stop racial profiling
To the person who wrote the rant regarding "Check Alien Status," your bigotry is showing through loud and clear. I am familiar with the landscape company that does our community and many others in the area, and they have a strict requirement that all workers must show proof of U.S. citizenship or have a green card allowing them legal status to live and work in the U.S. Just because the workers look Hispanic does not mean they are illegal; only that you are assuming them to be illegal because of their appearance. We very much need these workers who do such a great job and work very hard in the harshest of conditions to earn a meager wage. I appreciate these workers and many of my neighbors feel the same way. So quit the racial profiling and check your facts before you make another dumb statement.
Please get out of the left hand lane
It is so disturbing, when trying to pass a slower vehicle that I encounter daily on all of our local roads that 60 percent of the vehicles here in the county drive in the left hand lane. Why? I've been trying to figure out why for three years. Could it be they all just moved here from England? No way.
On June 14, Gov. Rick Scott signed wide-ranging highway safety bills that includes a provision designed to force slower drivers out of the left-hand lane.
The bill also includes a provision that states that drivers cannot drive in the left-hand lane 10 miles or slower than the posted speed. A driver who violates the provision could get a $60 ticket.
Congratulations, welfare people
Hey welfare people or poverty people, congratulations on making Fort Pierce the poverty capitol of Florida. You and all the young lives you produce have made the common tax payer very proud. Just hope you can keep them off the streets, and not make drug dealers out of them. Oh and remember to reinforce their schooling that they receive from the public schools. Oh, wait, let me redefine that word; I meant public baby-sitting agency. It's amazing how people want everything just handed to them. Hopefully your kids will stay in school and not be a burden to society. Oh, and while I'm at it, perhaps you might want to use your glorious food stamp money to buy healthy foods. Boy, that'd be a change.
Where is the money going?
Locally, there is a practice where the girls that work so hard cleaning the rooms and never received the tips that the customers leave them. They go to another employer before the girls begin their job the next day. Who knows where is the final recipient of this money? Or if it is divided for both the recipient and the collector. It would be a good idea to know what is going on in favor of the employees that are working so hard to help their families.
What's good for the goose...
Recently there have been a lot of comments that Christian and/or Judeo prayer should not be allowed at governmental meetings, etc. In case you don't know, if anyone visits a Muslim country, they would have to listen to a Muslim opening a prayer meeting. Or if you went to a Hindu Country, you would have to listen to their prayers because you are in their country. And in that other country, if you were to fight over this kind of thing, demanding to bring other faith and religions into the picture for prayer, you would go to jail for not abiding by their faith and/or religious ways. Here in America, everyone is welcomed; however we are still considered a Christian/Judeo nation, as is reminded by our laws, our money, the patriotic songs we sing, etc. and others should sit down and respect and tolerate that or, in some cases, go back to their own country.
End the stimulus
The Federal Reserve is doing us an enormous disservice by continuing its so-called stimulus spending.
Whatever it's called, it is a fraud. They are running their printing presses because they have no real money.
Smart money people have been warned and they are adjusting their portfolios. But millions of every-day Americans are going to be left holding the bag, a totally empty bag.
Washington insiders do not care a fig about us.
What about Alaska's refuge?
With all the promising news about natural gas discoveries and exploration, discussion of Alaska's Arctic Natural Wildlife Refuge has been all but forgotten. That's a mistake. A big mistake.
The area (19 million acres, larger than Massachusetts, New Jersey, Hawaii, Connecticut and Delaware combined, offers almost endless possibilities. For political reasons to pander to environmentalists, President Obama is stonewalling development which would benefit us all.