1. Archive

Character education demands attention of school officials

Editor: In today's paper (June 1) there was a letter from a concerned resident seeking information about a School Board-approved program for character education in the Hernando County Schools.

His letters on the subject went unanswered. This appears to be a shocking disregard of concern by our Hernando County officials.

The matter of character education in our schools is perhaps the most important aspect demanding the attention of our school authorities today.

In our wonderful country, a citizen can write to any of our officials, even the President of the United States, and be assured of a response to his questions.

Why is there no answer forthcoming on what our school authorities are doing about their program on character education in our public schools?

Ronald Ransier

Spring Hill

Vote on bylaws changes

important for Spring Hill


Every member of the Spring Hill Civic Association has been mailed a proxy ballot to allow them to vote on a set of bylaw changes. While I wasn't a member of the bylaws committee, I am aware of the changes and the reasons for them. The changes are important and necessary.

One change removes the term "social" as a description of the association to allow us a better posture regarding bulk mailing as well as more latitude regarding acceptance of grants or donations.

Another change reduces the quorum from 100 to 50. We are currently drawing about 75-80 members at meetings out of a membership of 1,200. This is about average, with our sister organization in Ridge Manor drawing about 35-45 from a membership of 700. A quorum is necessary to conduct business. My feeling is that low attendance is testimony to the fine job Sal Fico is doing. As with the County Commission, many folks don't bother to attend unless they perceive a problem.

A third change better defines the total number of years or terms officers may serve.

A fourth change clarifies and also tightens the prohibition against government officers also holding a civic association office, while still allowing our appointees to county boards to serve as officers. It is important to the association and community that once one of our officers becomes an effective voice for our association and community by appointment to the licensing board of (in my case) the Hazardous Waste Advisory Board, he or she not be forced to resign from civic association office. Our organization and community need as many voices as we can muster on the county level.

In summation, my feeling is that the bylaws changes are for the good of the organization and community. While I did not get involved with the committee itself, I think it has done an excellent job. The committee was forced to come up with an alternative to the regular procedure for bylaw change due to the chronic lack of quorum. It did so through consultation with the legal firm that has represented our association through two administrations.

The method of going directly to the entire membership with the changes is unique and certainly is equitable as everyone has an opportunity to vote. I congratulate Gordon Colvin's entire committee and urge all members to send in their ballots approving the changes.

Maurice A. Lubee

Member, Spring Hill

Civic Association

School problems linger

despite education laws


Re: Florida Education

The state of Florida has one of the most regulated educational systems of all 50 states in the Union. We have legislated our way into a Department of Education that controls when and what is taught by establishing performance standards for each class and all children.

We have created the Florida performance measurement system to evaluate teachers; in other words, telling them how to teach to be accepted. We have permitted federal law to construct a monstrosity of special education programs that label children and require a deluge of personnel just to interpret the program.

We are now embarking on a new state law for all children who are speakers of other languages that requires all teachers to be retained and has the potential to be as complex as special education programs. We have adopted programs based upon university professors' research _ in other words, whoever is in vogue at the moment. Then we have developed a financial system for schools based upon all these laws and regulations that does not permit schools to do other than perpetuate the system.

What have these regulations and laws achieved for our children? The worst dropout rate of any of the 50 states. If we were meeting the needs of our children, they would not drop out of school.

We have accepted as gospel what is said by legislators, professors, administrators, and Department of Education people and parents _ everybody, that is, but teachers. These are the people who work with our children daily. They need time to prepare; they need time to work with students. They cannot work with the number of students assigned today and expect to accomplish more than regimentation. They need the supplies and materials to work with children.

You would be more than surprised to learn how little money is available to the teacher for supplies and material to use with the children. Give our teachers the time to prepare. Give them the number of students they can work with effectively. Give them the supplies they need to work with the children.

Children can be successful in their own way and time. It will cost the taxpayers less in the long run than the bureaucracy of today.

R. Turner


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