Letters to the editor

2014-03-11T00:00:00Z Letters to the editor Arizona Daily Star
March 11, 2014 12:00 am

Common Core will harm schoolchildren

Re: the March 6 article “Senators vote to rebuff Melvin, retain Common Core standards.”

I was deeply saddened to discover this state’s Legislature and its business leaders have placed money above education in killing SB 1310.

Luckily, those with means can escape the bizarre curriculum that constitutes the so-called path to Common Core’s standards. However, those children caught in its web suffer a confusing barrage of nonsense material touted to promote critical thinking in preparation for the professional world.

I am a professional. I fail to see how these concepts will help my child or her classmates to ever succeed. My opposition to Common Core has nothing to do with a refusal to accept standards. Quite the contrary, I am certain most people who oppose this want exceptional standards, but demand valid, substantive, verifiable content be used to achieve those standards.

Throwing good money after bad seems to be the Common Core lesson here. Enjoy those federal dollars. Arizona kids will need ’em as subsidies when they cannot function in the real world.

Robert Stapleton

Craftsman, Tucson

Compromise could solve Chavez problem

Re: the March 5 article “City Council OKs 11th paid holiday honoring Cesar Chavez.”

I have a compromise to resolve the Cesar Chavez holiday conundrum. How about blending Chavez Day into Martin Luther King Jr. Day? Then rename that holiday “Rights Day” or “King/Chavez Rights Day” and observe it when MLK Jr. Day is currently commemorated.

That’s what’s been done with the former birthday holidays for George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, now “Presidents Day.” This King-Chavez consolidation would save the taxpayers $500,000.

Mark Stewart

Retired, Tucson

Common Core already having positive impact

Re: the March 6 article “Senators vote to rebuff Melvin, retain Common Core standards.”

As a teacher who just retired, I cannot believe Sen. Al Melvin wanted to rid the state of Arizona from the Common Core. For the last three years I have taken courses along with so many other teachers in the Tucson Unified School District in order to implement this program.

The students are learning better than before. We would have lost federal money that we desperately need because of the lack of resources the state of Arizona gives to our schools.

Of course, Melvin would have certainly used his power to help Arizona make up the shortfall ... Wait, how silly of me! Melvin hasn’t voted for anything for education. This man wants to be our governor. He needs to move to Toronto and be with Mayor Rob Ford instead.

Barbara Reed

Teacher, Tucson

George Will’s grasp of history is flawed

Re: the March 4 column “Ukraine issue has Obama sliding into Carter territory.”

Columnist George Will asserts that Obama is “sliding into Carter territory,” but he may in fact be sliding into Eisenhower (the Nov. 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary), Johnson (the Aug. 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia), or Bush (the Aug. 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia) territory.

What would Will have Obama do, start World War III? Or do exactly as those other three presidents did, which is essentially nothing, in response to Soviet/Russian invasions in their sphere of influence.

Will’s analogy between Obama and Carter could just as easily been between Obama and Bush in 2008 but that would not support his political agenda. Does Will recall that Bush looked into Putin’s eyes and judged his soul honest?

Will’s recall of history is quite selective and pure nonsense.

Michael Hamant

Physician, Tucson

Today’s zoo fosters species protection

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson and taking the “behind the scenes” tour. Our guide and educator, Jed, gave an inspiring presentation that changed my initial negative view of zoos into a positive one.

I learned that today’s zoo is not your grandparents’ zoo, but one of conservation with a goal of sustaining vanishing species. There is much to learn about the mission of today’s zoos, especially those affiliated with and accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which maintains extremely high standards.

I urge you to take advantage of the special tour offered by Reid Park Zoo. I also urge you to go to 96elephants.org to see how you can help save African elephants from extinction through poaching for ivory, or familiarize yourself with the Wildlife Conservation Society as a source helping all animal species.

It’s nice to know how much some people care about the animals with whom we share our world. A global view in Tucson — kudos!

Ann Machek

Retired teacher, Green Valley

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