Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Superintendent search

Offering input for NKSD’s search

While I realize our Superintendent may have little control over many of the issues mentioned here, many of us in the community are hoping for a superintendent responsive to our concerns. North Kitsap is fortunate to have many dedicated teachers. Many however, have become frustrated. Having the goal of improving WASL scores over the transference of traditional subject content has been a disaster and many feel large segments of essential subject content is being ignored.

The WASL EALRs (GOALS) switched the focus away from the acquisition of knowledge to the ‘process of correct thinking.’ Neither parents, students or even teachers can see the WASL results and scores are mysteriously given without offering any specific assessments. The student is simply to repeat the test until they have the correct thinking process. In other words, the EALRs are dysfunctional to begin with and that makes the entire curriculum and examination faulty.

Math – The Connected Math Curriculum involves a great amount of confusing language and too little straight numerical problem solving. This puts ESL students, as well as underprivileged students, at a great disadvantage. (Dr. William Hook’s study of 750,000 students in California clearly shows this. They now use Singapore.) It also has proven to put Washington’s students at a disadvantage when competing with students from other states.

English – The reading material rarely requires reading traditional classics. Instead, the required reading seems to be ‘new age’ books, many of which have suggestive, violent or depressing contents. Also, there are far too few writing assignments. Many classes never return a corrected writing assignment. Grammar and verb conjugation seem to have been completely abandoned.

History – The focus seems to be on globalism and environmentalism rather than on the history of the United States. When mentioned, the emphasis invariably seems to be on mistakes and tragedies of the past. Why not study about America’s limited constitutional government, and how a free market economy offers opportunities available few other places in the world. Here, citizens have the incentive to work hard because unlike countries with managed ‘nationalized industries’ and ‘top down’ managed economies, we can actually benefit from our own hard work and ingenuity. It is directly because of individual liberties and responsibilities available here that millions around the world would give anything to come here.

I am far less concerned about the new superintendent’s background and experience than I am his integrity and his goals for our district. If his main goal is to ‘close the learning gap’ instead of developing each student’s potential, to my mind he is the wrong guy.

If he is concerned with the transformation of society, this would be troubling. Parents are not interested in having their children participate in social experiments without their knowledge or permission, especially when it’s at their expense. Not to mention it’s against the law. So my question is, what specifically are the superintendent’s goals for our district and what does he consider the role of education?

Thanks for asking,

Lucy Wells

Poulsbo

Thank you

Family appreciates support

We want to thank each of the hundreds of people who sent cards and e-mails giving thanks for the life of Gina Whiteley.

The response has been overwhelming and beyond our ability to answer on a personal basis. Her unencumbered love for people in need will not soon be forgotten.

Buz Whiteley and family,

Poulsbo

Presidential election

Obama’s our man

I would like to weigh in with some thoughts for the so-called super delegates to consider before they cast the votes that may well decide our Democratic Party’s nominee for president. Super delegates need to mull over the high probability that if they choose Hillary for our candidate they will have chosen defeat come November. Hillary cannot attract the large numbers of young voters that Obama brings to the game nor can she garner the votes of Independents, disgruntled Republicans, the more affluent and educated, and large numbers of minorities that Obama can — and these are all voters who our candidate must have to win in November. Obama transcends race and gender — and narrow partisanship. Hillary does not. Obama excites and inspires; Hillary does not. Obama “articulates a vision and encourages others to achieve it,” (Caroline Kennedy). A “kindly” John McCain will handily defeat Hillary because many of the very votes that would have gone to Obama had he been in the race will be his, absent Obama. The bottom line: Barack Obama can defeat John McCain in November; Hillary Clinton cannot. Super delegates, do not give us four or more years of John McCain (Bush).

Charles Bickel,

Poulsbo

UCMJ

Shame on the Navy

Under the uniform code of military justice (UCMJ) there are different venues for punishment depending on the severity of the charges; there is courts martial, the equivalent of a felony trial, and captain’s mast, the equivalent of traffic and misdemeanor courts. I’m beyond disappointed by the Navy’s decision to send CMC Scott to captain’s mast, a punishment normally reserved for minor infractions and petty crimes. Apparently Navy leadership hopes to quietly send him on his way with his pension intact and an honorable discharge. The Navy is putting on a big song and dance about all his years of devoted service and awards which they can’t overlook. That is a load of garbage. If it had not been a sting and Scott actually accomplished what he set out to do, would Naval leadership be talking up all his years of devoted service and awards? Someone is giving Scott a great big kiss goodbye at the risk of angering their own ranks and a local community with what they hope is a short memory. Scott could have gone to courts martial, and if found guilty, could be serving time right now and that would not bother me at all. But to give him an honorable discharge is an insult to everyone of us who has ever honorably worn the uniform of the armed forces. Shame on the United States Navy.

Mike Cooper,

Chief Petty Officer, retired,

Bainbridge Island

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