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Letters to the Editor 07-18-14

BEING INFORMED TAKES WORK
I am not an architect, but I agree with David Roth (column, July 12). America does a great job of destroying her historic buildings.
People travel overseas and make a special effort to visit famous buildings, centuries old.
There are some beautiful courthouses, churches, as well as other buildings in the United States that I hope are permitted to remain.
As far as schools are concerned, yes, it probably is expensive to keep them in good repair. I always thought that was why we voted periodically for tax renewals.
Perhaps in many cases, the money went for different things. Eventually we are told “it’s too costly to repair. It would be cheaper to build new.”
How? The cost of labor and materials would be the same whether you are building brand-new or remodeling.
Schools get tax money from the state also, which opens the door for state-mandated issues. With every “gift” of government money, the home folks lose more power for hometown decisions.
People should make it their business to know exactly where and how their taxes are being used.
When our families are growing up, we don’t take the time to attend town hall meetings, PTA meetings, etc. We are busy, we are tired, we have “home chores” that must be done, so governments, from city on up, and school boards can do about anything they decide.
I have come to the conclusion that becoming an informed citizen is a full-time job in itself and I still haven’t made it. Maybe it’s because we have more time to pay attention to what is taking place around us. It also seems that too many things come at us too fast which proves to be a cover-up for underhandedness that our government doesn’t want “John Doe” to know about until it is done.
So, what is the answer? Is it really so difficult to adapt an older, historical building to fill the needs of a modern school?
Or is there more prestige in tearing down, clearing off the rubble, perhaps purchasing a new place to build, spending enough to build a whole new building and calling it progress?
As Mr. Roth said, “No one listens anyway.”
Barbara J. Rice
Fostoria

IS COMMON CORE THE ANSWER?
The traditional or classical education teaches students critical thinking skills such as deep thinking, decision making, persuasive speech skills, solid math skills, history of the ages, and prepares students how to learn so they become independent lifelong learners in a constantly changing world.
A classical education is broad-based because students master principles. Parents, students, school boards, teachers, and administrators maintain local control.
A common core education has standards set by the federal government and produces people who know only facts and skills which quickly become obsolete. Local control of our students is lost and schools can only control 15 percent of what is taught.
This type of education has been called many things over the years, such as school to work, and teaches students what to think, is very limited in scope, and has not produced good results. When kids enter college, so much remedial work must be done before they can even begin their college courses.
Will doubling down on this model through common core with the aid of the federal government help? One can look down the road and see the dangers and abuses of having government dictating your child’s education and supplying the money for school compliance. If you feel that this type education is not good enough for your child, community and the U.S., please let your Ohio representatives, school board members, and administrators know your feelings. Andy Thompson, with Robert Sprague as one of many co-sponsors, introduced HB 237 that rejects common core and deserves our support.
Many of us have been frustrated trying to help our kids with math, without textbooks to explain a procedure that requires many more steps and grids and, therefore, many more chances for error.
Common core shrinks learning into a one-size-fits-all set of standards and ends in the lowest common denominator.
Everyone wants an improved education system, but is common core the answer for our not-so-common kids?
Linda Bishop
rural Findlay

A BETTER SOURCE
I have been seeing many letters to the editor concerning firearms and statistics regarding firearm crimes. Please see the following website for the real facts: http://crimepreventionresearchcenter.org.
So many writers are touting much incorrect information. Perhaps a well-researched article could be developed and published.
James W. Woodward
Findlay

STAY WITH THE 10-YEAR CYCLE
Ohio should continue to use the 10-year cycle for redrawing our congressional districts until a national method is devised and accepted by all 50 states. To do otherwise will create an unfair and unrecoverable national election process.
I do not hear much about redistricting for Illinois.
Jim Stahl
Findlay

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