Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

March 31, 2014

March 30, 2014: Letters to the editor


Kokomo Tribune

---- — Students pay price for pig-headedness

Partisan politics are the norm in Indiana and the rest of the nation, and Hoosiers are used to the shenanigans that sometimes allow poorly thought out bills to be passed by members of the General Assembly.

Hoosiers should be horrified, however, at the decision that led Indiana to become the first state in the nation to opt out of the Common Core standards for K-12 education that still apply in 44 other states. Beyond being horrified, Hoosiers should be deeply angered by the fact the opt-out decision was driven by arch-conservative tea party Republicans who were revolting against Common Core, mostly because President Barack Obama said it was a good idea.

Partisan politics should never be allowed to hurt the ability of Hoosier children to have the chance to be as well-educated as those in other states, but that’s what is happening. The Common Core standards were originally adopted by the bipartisan National Governors’ Association as a response to the growing realization that American education has been falling behind the rest of the world.

The NGA, along with the state education superintendents who helped develop the standards, were seeking to help students across the country improve their abilities in reading and mathematics. Ironically, Common Core was conceived in part as a response to the No Child Left Behind legislation adopted under President George W. Bush.

Many states resented federal intrusion into their education decisions, and the NGA saw the opportunity to have the states themselves adopt educational standards. As soon as President Obama said it was a good idea, however, many tea party Republicans balked and now Indiana students must pay the price for their unrelenting pig-headedness.

Ironically, though Indiana is moving away from Common Core, it is likely to simply paste a “Hoosier education” label on very similar educational standards.

What is unfortunate is that the change, however slight, will require local school corporations to spend precious resources to re-educate teachers and administrators so that they can address the needs of Hoosier children in the Wonderland created by the tea party-driven Indiana General Assembly and its Mad Hatter-in-Chief, Gov. Mike Pence.

Bob Ashley

Tipton

Letter writer should prove his claims

I will be among the first to tell you there are probably other more qualified readers to answer Mr. Larry Brooks’ extremist exertions in his opining in today’s sound off (March 27). I will also tell you that I am amazed at how many column-inches have been afforded his negativity over the past several months.

One can readily discern his political bent just by reading his letters.

You and your competitor see fit to let him bellow on and on, and very few challenges are printed to those diatribes. I will assume the best, which is that there just aren’t many who see fit to invest the time to respond. Today is my day.

Based on what I read of him and the one hit I got on Google, he is an activist in the truest sense, having participated in the Occupy Kokomo event (if you wish to call it an event). I am writing to call on Mr. Brooks to start proving the things he claims, particularly today about the tea party. I am not a member, but I am a sympathizer and I do know enough to see that his exaggerations are rife with untruths. If he can provide solid proof his claims are indeed true, I might put more stock in him, rather than considering him as I do now, a rabble-rouser.

Perhaps others will read this who have a little more time to invest and write (and hopefully get printed) in response to Mr. Brooks’ assertions.

Rick Glover Sr.

Kokomo