Common Core State Standards
Make yourself heard on school standards
I give a standing ovation to the release of the Common Core State Standards for public input as a common sense step toward a better education system. These consistent standards may be defined simply as the skills and knowledge young people need to be successful in careers and college. The standards are based on evidence and research, and include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills. In addition, the standards are informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society.
As a parent and grandparent, I know clear consistent standards empower parents to work with their children in achieving their learning objectives.
The best and most exciting points that the standards establish is what students need to learn, but they will not dictate how teachers should teach. Instead, schools and teachers will collaborate and decide how best to assist students in reaching their highest potential through critical thinking and problem-solving skills..
Using the Common Core State Standards should mean that when parents must move, students will be able to assimilate into any school because of consistent standards across the state and nation. The rigor of academia will be consistent and the student's diploma upon graduation will mean the same as those from the top schools throughout the country.
In short, our students will be prepared to compete in the global economy. Parents, this means that you will save money on college remedial courses that often are required for admittance into a college, university or technical school.
Teachers, principals, parents and others should take the time to review the standards during this public comment period. Please go to http://corestandards.org to view the Common Core State Standards, and I urge you to take advantage of this opportunity for public comment, which lasts until April 2.
Karin Brown, president, Florida Parent Teacher Association, Palmetto Bay
Trial lawyers play defense in Capitol | March 17
Lawmakers boost cause of big insurance
Economy bad? Let's dismantle the tort system. Never mind the lack of any evidence that our system of civil justice had anything to do with our economic meltdown or the virtual tsunami of evidence that the beneficiaries of state Sen. John Thrasher's legislative largesse will be the actual culprits (AIG, etc.).
In war, the first casualty is the truth. The same is true in politics. Sen. Thrasher's transparent campaign to dismantle our civil rights under the banner of "it's good for business" illustrates the point. No one blames the civil justice system for getting us into this current mess. In fact, it was corporate irresponsibility and lack of accountability that did so. Yet, magically, our legislators seem poised to further weaken corporate accountability while using a form of "newspeak" to cover their leadership's underlying agenda.
For those of us keeping score, Sen. Thrasher has been advancing the cause of big insurance for decades.
It seems that the truth itself is in need of emergency medical care.
Tom Carey, Esq., Clearwater
Bipartisan immigration plan unveiled | March 19, story
They are trespassers
What a farce. The problem is the word "immigrant." A trespasser is not an immigrant, unless the people who profit from their presence can convince enough people to use that word.
An immigrant is a person who has applied for permission to enter the country legally and settle there. The millions who have snuck in are not immigrants by any measure.
Ask the children of legitimate immigrants about how they got here and what they expected when they got here.
The problem is that somebody profits from the illegals being here; it is not the United States or its citizens.
Max R. Loick, St. Petersburg
System to blame for county's squabbles | March 18
Politics at work
Hats off to Ernest Hooper for peering behind the superficial signs of dysfunction that have embroiled Hillsborough County's big three A's (Administrator, Attorney and Auditor) and the county commissioners.
He's the first observer to look behind the county's bureaucratic deviltries and see the or system responsible for them. As he says, it's all about the 800-pound gorilla in the room: that pending proposal for a county mayor. Isn't it time voters' opinion on this was sought?
Jeff Corydon, Tampa
Water rates could go up by 8 percent | March 19
Consumer loses again
Tampa Bay Water spends tens of thousands of dollars in TV and radio advertising imploring residents to reduce their water consumption. The campaign is so successful and water usage drops so dramatically, that Tampa Bay Water is now seeking a rate increase to offset monies lost from the drop in consumption. Again, the consumer is the loser.
Ted Wolfe, St. Petersburg