Students will benefit when we work together
The Pinellas Education Foundation, author of a newspaper supplement about the state of the school system that appeared Aug. 15 and a "white paper" suggesting significant changes to the way the district operates, has been our partner since its creation. The Pinellas County School Board is grateful for the foundation's work and leadership. We are fortunate to have the support of this community, as shown by its overwhelming support of the referendum and its tireless dedication to volunteering in classrooms and school offices. We appreciate the foundation and its willingness to offer assistance in our efforts to provide world-class education for students in Pinellas County.
The challenges we face — a dropout rate that is too high, a graduation rate that is too low, budgetary constraints that tighten daily, a shrinking work force, a growing work load — are not unique to Pinellas.
As the district's leadership team, the School Board members and I remain committed to improving student achievement, knowing we will be working with shrinking resources. The School Board has asked me to develop a site-based model that meets the needs and reflects the unique characteristics of Pinellas County schools. My staff is researching the site-based models used in districts throughout the country, and we will be developing a recommendation to present to the School Board in the coming months.
Pinellas County schools will become a world-class leader with each student graduating on time with the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve individual goals. That goal may be college, technical school, the military or a variety of career paths. Students will be actively engaged in their learning and will have opportunities to receive industry-based certification in fields that are high in demand, require high skill levels and yield high wages.
A true partnership, involving students, parents, teachers, business and community leaders, the School Board and the foundation, is essential to our success. Working together, we will succeed.
Julie M. Janssen, Ed.D., interim superintendent, Pinellas County schools
For Supreme Court, demand diversity | Aug. 16, editorial
Seek the most qualified
Your recent editorial regarding the judicial nominations submitted to the governor puzzles me. I expected more from the Times.
The nominating process is supposed to screen applicants and submit the most qualified to the governor. There is no evidence the committee failed to act appropriately.
Both you and Charlie Crist seem to think we don't need to pick from the most qualified but rather should concern ourselves with diversity instead. Hopefully the Judicial Nominating Committee will continue to submit only those they find most qualified from those who chose to apply.
Al Melkus, Homosassa
Court list frustrates Crist | Aug. 15, story
It's just political correctness
I have been under the erroneous assumption that the governor wanted the best candidates for the state Supreme Court vacancies.
It seems he only wants what is politically correct: women and African-Americans need to be included just because they are women and African-Americans. Qualifications are irrelevant. What hogwash!
Walter J. Noble, Palm Harbor
Adding to the pain
Since John Edwards is not running for anything any longer, what is the point of the articles and cartoons concerning his affair? I wonder especially since so much is made about how he hurt his wife.
All the tabloid trash being published now is neither news nor important. It is nothing other than more trash piled on the trash you insist on publishing about Hulk Hogan and his son's telephone calls.
There is absolutely no reason to do it other than to inflict more pain on the subjects of your desire to humiliate. Why not just stop it?
Howard Batt, Clearwater
Letters on Gator huntin' | Aug. 16
Links in the food chain
For those squeamish readers who haven't yet encountered a gator in their carport, how was your last hamburger?
Martin Calloway, St. Petersburg