Who ignores children in marriage debate?

Re: the April 12 letter "Marriage designed to protect children."

I agree wholeheartedly with the headline. Marriage benefits do protect children.

But that's where my agreement with this letter ends. If the writer believes that "in the current debate … the rights of children are mostly ignored and swept under the rug," he hasn't been paying attention.

Much of the argument for marriage equality has focused on children - the children of same-sex parents who don't get the same protections other children get. The idea that legalizing marriage for same-sex couples somehow denies a mother or a father to children is ludicrous.

Children with same-sex parents exist. They will exist whether or not their parents can legally marry. Don't they deserve the same protections my children enjoy? Which side of the marriage debate is really guilty of ignoring the rights of children and sweeping them under the rug?

Kelly Frieders

News transcriptionist, Sahuarita

Abandoning cursive would be disastrous

Re: the April 9 article "Handwriting nears end of line as US schools stop teaching it."

This would be, to say the least, catastrophic, making our young and future generations completely dependent on computers/machines, transforming them into functions of robots, instead of developing them into individual and independent human beings.

School administrators take the wrong route here, ignoring the absolute necessity of the skill to write with your own hand all the time during the day, at work, leisure, for private purposes, etc. At the university level we increasingly ban the use of all electronic equipment in the classrooms, especially during exam times, to ensure that students focus on the subject matter and do not plagiarize.

Standardized tests have long proved to be the worst measure in evaluating students and are no justification for abandoning teaching cursive.

Albrecht Classen

UA professor, Tucson

Anti-education beast prowls TUSD

Re: the April 8 article "Principals at 4 TUSD schools on notice."

When I read about the firing of principals on the grounds of low test scores, a burst of frustration and sadness overwhelms me. Test scores do not reflect progress throughout the year, do not consider special learning situations, socioeconomic hardships or the enrichment of language heritage. They do not reflect parental involvement or real learning through meaningful school and community projects, such as the case of Ochoa School with its Reggio Emilia Approach.

Heidy Aranda has guided those students into real learning experiences pertaining to self-expression through writing, deep understandings of math, art, science and much more. This is learning that transcends the insipid demands of tests.

The threat of firing principals on these shallow parameters reflects how district administrators have sold their integrity to the anti-education beast of the test scores, which is already threatening to destroy all chances of meaningful education in our schools.

Cecilia Valenzuela Gee

Retired teacher, Tucson

Unions are responsible for city pension woes

Re: the April 10 article "City looks to cut costs of police, fire pensions."

Providing a safe environment to all the citizens and taxpayers should be the city's No. 1 function. Cutting the pensions is a must-do.

The story states there is "less than one active public safety officer for every retired or noncontributing employee."

Union involvement has brought this problem to almost every city in America, and the story further states, "This is not sustainable."

Stockton, Calif., just went through full bankruptcy because of the same problem. I suggest the City Council study in depth what happened to Stockton and what they are having to do to survive and at the same time hire a very good bankruptcy law firm - you're going to need one, unless you change what has been implemented there as a recipe for failure.

Bob Morgan

Corporate aviation consultant, Tucson