1. Archive

Education is parents' responsibility

Editor: Re: Headlines should not give jitters to third-graders, March 6 letter to the editor:

I read both local newspapers daily at work. (I exchange with a fellow worker.) I continue to read with amusement that so many parents still just don't get it. Both newspapers are blamed for the shortsightedness of so many parents. If a student does not do well on the FCAT, which our good governor instituted in an attempt to raise our education standards, the newspapers are at fault because they wrote about the test, and in turn instilled dreadful fears on our children.

Hogwash! If parents took the time to help their children, beginning with their very first years in school, perhaps they would not blame the newspapers for their kid's inability to do well on these tests.

When my daughter began school, I vowed I would be there every step of the way to help her understand her school material. We spent many, many hours working on her homework, sometimes to the point of exhaustion, only to resume and complete the work the next morning before I drove her to school. Like so many other parents, I sometimes work two jobs (as does my wife). Nonetheless, I have made it my business to make her education a priority.

My daughter is now enrolled in this county's best academic program: Springstead's Advanced Placement Academy, and I'm pleased to announce she is performing quite well. Maybe, just maybe, those long hours paid off. How novel!

Kudos to our School Board for recognizing that some parents, students and educators do, indeed, take learning quite seriously. If at least one parent is convinced of the significance of embracing the "education begins at home" concept, maybe word will spread and the newspapers will finally be let off the hook.

Joe Fortis

Spring Hill

Think about the

meaning of diversity

Editor: Re: Meaning of "diversity' eludes superintendent, March 11 letter to the editor:

I couldn't help but notice your narrow focus on the word "diversity." If you had only noticed the other words mixed up in there that formed sentences, you might have had a better chance of understanding what was communicated in that text.

The most important message communicated was the best, most qualified persons got the jobs. This means my kids and the other students in Hernando County will have highly qualified personnel leading their schools, regardless of race, ethnic background or heritage.

Second was the point you seem so intrigued with concerning diversity. As the letter writer pointed out, the meaning of diverse is "different." Given the ethnic backgrounds of the people appointed, this can be considered "different" than what this county has experienced (typically) in the past. So, you see, the use of the word diversity in a sentence, in a paragraph, in an article relaying Hernando County Schools superintendent Wendy Tellone's comments, makes sense.

Perhaps next time, the writer will notice some of the positive things going on in Hernando County Schools, as opposed to spending so much time trying to be negative. Maybe a little more "diversity" would be good.

Doug Liddle

Spring Hill

Commission vote records on the Web is good idea

Editor: Re: Commissioner's Web proposal voted down, March 12 Times:

Commissioner Robert Schenck's suggestion that voting records of commissioners be more easily accessible to the people who elected them, and whom they represent, is a very good one.

Please keep on it, Mr. Schenck. You are on the mark.

R.D. Smith

Spring Hill

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