Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

March 7, 2013

Letters to the Editor: March 7, 2013

Uneducated voters threat to U.S.

Is the liberal media blocking the education of the American voter? The greatest threat to America today is the uneducated voter. What happened to Fast & Furious? What happened to Benghazi, which I believe was worse than Watergate because it involved the death of four Americans? Who came up with the sequester? Have you heard that for $500,000 the president is considering that you can have access to him every three months? Has anyone on any news channel other than FOX been made aware of the thousands of voter irregularities? Where is the rage over gas prices versus when Bush was president? Has anyone heard an outcry because of our drones being able to kill Americans under executive order? Has any media talked about how this administration is planning to become the largest permit and gun sellers in the history of the United States? If you are listening to NBC, MSNBC, CNN, Newsweek, New York Times, even AP, you are not getting the real news. These outlets are more like the old Russian propaganda mills. If it is bad for the administration, you won’t see it in print. If it is good they will print it.

What happened to investigative reporting? When will politicians learn they work for us, not us working for them? Have you heard that even before the sequester Obama had released illegal criminals in three states just to scare those opposing sequester?

Jim Richardson, Sharpsville


Weed of greed bears bitter fruit

We have lived in Prairie township for 47 years and love it here. We’ve older now, nearly 80 and living on Social Security and a meager pension. We’re both in poor health so we can’t travel anymore. We stay home mostly. When we do go out, we can’t venture far.

We have talked to people that have windmills near them, and they are having new health problems because of them and some are having trouble with their TV reception, radio, Internet, hearing aids, pacemakers, cell phones and so on.

I’m a hard diabetic and have to check my sugar eight times a day. If the windmills affect my glucose meter, I could die. I’m also dependent on an insulin pump to keep me alive. If the windmills affect my pump, I could die from too much or not enough insulin. I’ve seen the map where they plan to put five windmills around my home. They are numbered on the map. Everyone should see this map and look for their area to see how many they are going to get. If you don’t act now, you may not like the surprise that’s in store for you.

Why does my neighbor want to imprison us with these monsters and ruin the few years we have left and endanger our health?

What are these farmers are raising in their fields? Greed weeds. The weed of greed bears bitter fruit, and those who partake of it will suffer great hardship from other farmers who are stronger and greedier. Just remember what goes around, comes around and for every action, there is a reaction.

I must say to my neighbors in the surrounding counties: Wake up now and join the fight against the windmill farms because wherever you live. Believe me, you’re next.

Ron Arnett, Russiaville


Let local school boards do their jobs

HB 1381, the student transfer bill has passed the House and now goes to the Senate. Eastern opposes this legislation. This bill proposed by Representative Karickhoff will reduce transfers in Howard County as Eastern Howard will no longer accept high school transfers after July 1, 2013. We believe that locally elected school boards should be making transfer decisions. Passage of this bill will deny high school students the opportunity to attend Eastern in the future because it will negatively impact Eastern’s graduation rate if Eastern would have to accept every student regardless of the credits he or she has earned at a neighboring school. For example, if a student transferred to Eastern with 3 or 4 credits their junior year that student would count against Eastern’s graduation rate even though we could not get the student graduated no matter what we tried to do to guarantee success. We would just run out of time. Also under the proposed bill students with multiple suspensions and attendance issues could attend Eastern under a lottery type system. These situations, as well, have the potential to impact our school corporation in a negative manner. With school funding and letter grades being dependent on a number of metrics, including graduation rates, and teacher evaluations being tied to student achievement a lottery is a negative system for those schools that believe in school choice for students that meet the locally developed criteria established by elected school boards.

Currently 231 transfer students attend Eastern and we accept 96 percent of applicants. Our transfer students make up 16 percent of our student body. Over 700 students have had the opportunity to transfer in Howard County. That’s hardly cherry picking. With an elementary school nationally recognized for technology and a high school ranked 17th in Indiana out of over 379 high schools by U.S. News and World Report we welcome the competition, and feel that school choice raises achievement in Howard County Schools. Look at the many innovative programs started in all of the Howard County schools. Unfortunately this bill will erode school choice for families. Two of our three representatives in Howard County, representatives Turner and VanNatter opposed passage of HB 1381. Representative Karickhoff, who represents Eastern, sponsored the bill.

Eastern is opposed to this legislation because, ultimately, less children will have an opportunity to schools of choice in Howard County.  No school system can afford to have a reduction in graduation rates by accepting transfer students who cannot graduate in the required four years. No school system can afford to accept transfer students with multiple suspensions and attendance issues when teacher pay and benefits are dependent on student achievement. It is clear that this legislation is designed to protect urban districts from urban flight to higher performing school districts. A lottery system is designed to force districts to choose between funding and achievement. If you accept all students the school that educated the child for eight, nine or even 10 years gets a free pass on graduation rates as the student behind on credits now will be factored into the school in which he or she transfers; if you do not accept all students you lose the funding that follows the child, but maintain the graduation rates that your teachers have worked so hard to maintain.  

Let local school boards do the jobs they were elected to do which is to set policies and represent their districts. School transfer decisions should be a matter of local control.

Dr. Tracy Caddell, Eastern Howard School Corporation Superintendent