Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Letters: Media specialists vital to student success

Media specialists play crucial roles

School media specialists play a vital role in developing both literacy and technology skills in our students. To cut these positions is shortsighted and dangerous, endangering our students' academic learning and future lives as productive and responsible citizens.

Studies have shown that access to high-quality library programs has a strong impact on student achievement, especially for those students who do not have access to print-rich environments in their homes. Many of the students in Pasco County come from homes that lack print resources.

It is not enough to have a room with books to which they have access. It takes a trained and experienced media specialist to create activities and programs that help to foster a love of reading and instruct them in the areas of research and technology that will be required in the future. The current proposal is to have media/technology assistants be responsible for the media centers. While our assistants are extremely valuable to us, they have neither the training nor expertise to perform our jobs.

The argument stated by superintendent Kurt Browning is that our emphasis should be on the students, so it is better for trained media specialists to be employed as classroom teachers, rather than provide programs from the media centers. In a classroom I can impact roughly 125 students. The literacy training that I just held for seven of our teachers will affect hundreds of students. The book talks that I hold for our language arts and reading teachers allow me to encourage all of their students to read and to return to me for more books, which they do.

The professional development that I hold for the entire faculty helps to familiarize our teachers with the changing technology available for them to use with their students and to learn how to adapt their teaching to the changing needs of their students. In my current position I have an effect on the education of over 1,400 students.

We are also moving toward using the Common Core State Standards as a basis for curriculum development in Florida. These standards require our students to read and write at a much higher level than ever before. Our teachers will need the assistance of their media specialists to identify and gather the complex texts required of the standards, and help in developing curricula that will ensure that our students' literacy skills improve. Media specialists are uniquely qualified to help with both of these tasks, and the Pasco County School District is poised to take these resources away from teachers.

Media specialists are a crucial ingredient for schools that want to prepare students for the 21st century and all of its technological and literacy demands. Do not shortchange our students' educations or their futures with what seems to be an easy fix to the current under-funding of education in Florida.

Kelly Anderson, Zephyrhills

Band's talents much appreciated

The entire audience was blown away by the music, the professionalism and joy that the jazz band of the Hudson Middle School played with Monday.

We were entertained to the heights. The young women and men displayed such expertise as they enthralled us. The Spartan Manor was the venue and we were the volunteers of west Pasco. What an honor, and what a day. The band deserved, and got, a standing ovation. Thank you to all, especially those talented young people and their charming director.

Lilyan V. Dayton, New Port Richey

Sheriff's Office's double standard? | March 8 letter

Deputy is giving office a black eye

That letter sure rang a bell with me. The writer said a deputy told her, "You know, this isn't Hollywood." That sure seems like the same deputy who responded to my call for help to the Sheriffs Office a couple of weeks prior. It concerned my request about whether deputies were able to check if my 25-year-old son had a valid license.

The reason being he was driving my wife's car that was insured and registered in both our names. My wife and I are separated and are working on our marriage. My son lives with her and has had his license revoked numerous times. I had called my insurance agent to check on the status of his license and was told they no longer could do that. I was also informed that if he was driving with no license I was liable. After informing the deputy of this he scolded me and said, "We won't do your job for you. Be a man and go take the car.''

I informed him my wife is disabled and needs her car and that I'm a 100 percent disabled Vietnam-era veteran. He jokingly said we can't tell you if his license is valid, but if we stop him and it isn't valid we will be glad to take him to jail and impound my wife's car.

Anyway, he informed me he had more important things to take care of and that I was wasting his time. I was furious and hung up on him. I think this person is giving the Sheriff's Office a black eye and I also think the department needs to monitor this guy's responses to folks who call for help, not for sarcasm.

Stephen Kinn, New Port Richey


Thursday’s letters: Trump’s values hardly admirable

Finally, a president who cares | Dec. 13, letterTrump’s values hardly admirableThe letter writer is happy to have someone in the White House who "truly cares about our country’s business" and is "unafraid … of mentioning God and religious values....
Updated: 1 hour ago

Wednesday’s letters: Proposal would restore Florida Forever funding

Florida ForeverPlan boosts land protectionMost of us thought funding for land conservation in Florida would be restored when we voted the Water and Land Conservation Amendment (Amendment 1) into law in 2014. It passed easily, with 75 percent of voter...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17

Tuesday’s letters: Writer should look to his own mistakes

Is anyone ever wrong anymore? | Dec. 8Writer should look to own errorsIn Mitch Daniels’ article about people who have been wrong, he finishes with the statement that our lives would be greatly improved with more people saying, "I was wrong."He mi...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/11/17

Monday’s letters: Don’t drill in Arctic refuge

Arctic National Wildlife RefugeStop plan to drill for oil in refugeOur nation faces yet another effort to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge reserve to oil and gas drilling. Drilling in the Arctic simply doesn’t make sound financial sense. W...
Published: 12/08/17

Sunday’s letters: Tax bill puts U.S. on right course

The GOP’s regressive tax plans | Dec. 5, editorialTax bill puts U.S. on right courseThe Times is already crying wolf over the new tax cuts, claiming that the new laws "could" result an increase in the national debt of $1.5 trillion over the next ...
Published: 12/07/17

Pasco letters to the editor for Dec. 15

Re: Helping Others Fulfills our purpose here on Earth | Nov. 17 guest columnThe good doctor acknowledges a CreatorThank you for publishing Dr. Rao Musunuru’s guest column. As Congressman Gus Bilirakis said in the Congressional Record, this good d...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Saturday’s letters: Don’t inject political money into churches

Tax billKeep political cash out of pulpitA provision buried in the 429-page House tax bill, Section 5201, nullifies the Johnson Amendment, which protects houses of worship from partisan politics by prohibiting them from endorsing or opposing politica...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Friday’s letters: Most unpopular tax bill ever

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3The most unpopular tax bill ever"Democracy dies in darkness" is the motto of the Washington Post. At 2 a.m. on the dark morning of Sunday, Dec. 3, 51 Republicans approved the most wildly unpopular tax bill in U.S. h...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Thursday’s letters: Give your child the gift of reading

Fatherhood Involvement in Literacy CampaignGive your child the gift of readingPart of a successful game plan in sports is identifying plays that can put points on the scoreboard. Whether I was playing quarterback at Florida State or running the point...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17

Wednesday’s letters: Bill gives small businesses tax relief

Tax bill clears Senate | Dec. 3Small businesses get tax reliefThe Senate and House have now passed their respective tax bills. Once Congress sends a final package to the White House, President Donald Trump will deliver us the most powerful tax re...
Published: 12/04/17
Updated: 12/05/17