Saturday, December 16, 2017
Letters To The Editor

Thursday's letters: There's no hope for public school system

Low fcat scores stun, upset many | May 15

Public school system is doomed

"Pathetic" is the only word for all these samples. Only 27 percent of fourth-graders passed the writing test under the original criteria. These students have gone to school every day for five years or maybe six, counting preschool. Sled and down are first-grade words. Have we stopped spelling tests? The concept of capital versus small letters is lost. I doubt they read or speak any better than they write. Of course, neither the Ph.D.s, teachers nor the unions are responsible for this debacle, and their answer is to lower the passing number. There is no hope for the public school system.

Lynn O'Keefe, Largo

Low fcat scores stun, upset many | May 15

Madness in the method

The FCAT is a sham that has gotten out of control. The reason it's not accurate or relevant is that not all students fit into one mold.

Teachers are tasked with giving instruction on this mess, which is not a true measure of their success. Most kids resent having to "do FCAT" in lieu of other classes. And the state keeps changing the test requirements and does not inform teachers of these differences in the FCAT. They should be more concerned with end-of-course testing. If the child fails, he gets no credit. It's just that simple.

Finally, this is yet another example of government intervention. Government needs to keep its nose out of the classroom as well as our homes.

Ron Gonzalez, Trinity

Simply dreadful writing

I attended a British grammar school many years ago. In those days the grammar school was post-elementary for students of greater ability. About 25 percent of children attended this type of school. We were expected to write an essay at home each week in script. Printing would have been totally unacceptable. I found the quality of the student writing examples that you published on Tuesday to be dreadful.

Brian Pasby, Floral City

Armwood football title in question | May 15

De-emphasize sports

The fact that Armwood High School accepted falsified documents so it could field a championship team should come as no surprise to anyone. Sure, it is great to have a winning team, but the dire need for better education trumps it. America wonders and worries about the lack of students pursuing studies in mathematics, science and electronics, and rightly so. Blame the students, their parents or the school, but above all we should be de-emphasizing sports and other "glamorous" distractions in favor of academic study.

Orfeo Trombetta, Seminole

College debt hobbles grads | May 14

Be smart from the get-go

Between mortgage debt and student loans, whatever happened to personal responsibility and repaying your debt? Why in the world would someone attend a private school when you can get as good (or better?) of an education at a state school for a fraction of the price, especially if you don't have parents or a trust fund to pay for it?

I applied only to two schools in 1976, Notre Dame and the University of Florida. Notre Dame was $15,000 for tuition, room, board, etc. UF was $3,000. As the oldest of five kids to a bricklayer and a housewife, it was a no-brainer. I went to UF, eventually receiving four degrees, an incredible education and manageable debt that was paid off within two years.

If your family can afford to pay for an expensive college, great. If not, it's no different from buying a house or car that you can't afford. Don't. Use the difference to buy your first home or start your profession. But don't cry about it later and ask the government for help.

Larry Heinkel, St. Petersburg

JPMorgan's meltdown

Arrests are in order

There need to be more consequences for the three JPMorgan executives than just stepping down. Their actions have hurt millions of Americans, and they should be arrested, arraigned and sentenced. Stepping down means nothing to these people. They're all multimillionaires, and the fallout from their actions will not hurt them as it will the average American.

Verne Humphrey, Clearwater

Back at ya, Bosox | May 14, letter

Back at ya, Rays fans

To the Rays fan spewing venom at the Red Sox Nation: Yes, your team has been beating us lately, but we still support our team more than you support yours. Yes, Fenway Park is a dump, but it sells out every game. Yes, the weather stinks there, but we still sell out every game. The Red Sox fans have historically been disappointed many more times than rewarded with success, but there is not a more passionate or more loyal fan base. Methinks that is why you hate us so much. If Rays fans tried to emulate us, the team may not have to leave the area.

Mike Lang, Seminole

Massacre before our eyes | May 14, letter

Stay out of war

In response to Mark L. Grantham's letter, I am truly sorry for the loss of your friends in Syria, but we have been getting ourselves involved in other countries' business for too long. Let them fight their own battles. Bring our men and women home. I lost a brother in World War II. That was enough for me.

Evelyn Teta, Brandon

Who's flagged by voter checks? | May 13

Shades of Jim Crow

I am concerned that the recently raised claim that thousands of illegal immigrants are voting in Florida elections is just an excuse for the Republican-controlled state Capitol to add further restrictions to the voter franchise. Will people in the future be required to provide proof of citizenship at the polls, especially if they happen to have a Hispanic or foreign-sounding surname? Shades of Jim Crow. Voting is not a privilege — it is a right!

Sandra J. Gander, Bradenton

Gov. Scott's chief of staff resigns after year May 13

Scott had to know

You mean to tell me that Gov. Rick Scott knew nothing about his chief of staff, Steve MacNamara, giving no-bid contracts to friends? Unless maybe Scott had his eyes wide shut, I find it difficult to believe.

If it weren't for the investigative work of Mary Ellen Klas of the Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau, there would still be dirty little deals going on in Scott's office. It's as bad as nepotism and a disgrace to our state.

JoAnn Lee Frank, St. Petersburg


Monday’s letters: Tax plan bad for the country

Trump, GOP make good on tax cuts Dec. 14Tax plan is bad for the countryUnless senators such as Susan Collins, R-Maine, and our own Marco Rubio develop some backbone, the Republican tax bill could well pass.The bill would inflict harm on the people wh...
Published: 12/15/17
Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Sunday’s letters: Rule of law at stake in Mueller inquiry

Justice official parries attacks | Dec. 14Rule of law at stake in inquiryConservative media outlets and a number of Republicans in both chambers of Congress have launched an all-out assault on special counsel Robert Mueller and his team in an eff...
Published: 12/14/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Saturday’s letters: Project silent on rising sea levels

Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/15/17

Friday’s letters: Put yourself in a business owner’s shoes

GOP plan favors owners | Dec. 11Perils of small business ownersI wonder if the author of this article has even a clue about owning a business. Businessmen — especially small business owners — risk it all. They risk their savings, their car, their...
Published: 12/13/17
Updated: 12/14/17

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....
Published: 12/13/17

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...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/13/17