1. Archive

Teachers, speak out against FCAT

Re: Teaching to FCAT is wrong | Dec. 4

Mr. Greg Glance's guest column is a must-read for anyone with a stake in education.

More teachers must come forward and express their concerns with the down side of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test and the unrealistic expectations of No Child Left Behind.

Without a focus on the home environment and the addressing of individual skills, the goals are just pompous, hollow rhetoric.

A missing issue for the column is the loss of public education dollars to fund charter schools.

They lack accountability and compromise teacher standards that are faced by our public schools.

Charter schools have been the focus of several financial scandals locally.

Those charter school tax dollars could beef up traditional public schools, where funding remains chronically inadequate.

We are a shameful state regarding resources for children's needs, both in our public schools and other health and human services.

Teachers like Mr. Biance must speak out.

The administrators are not. Time they did.

Dr. Marc J. Yacht, Hudson

Please don't close charter school

I would like to express my opinion in reference to the closing of the Language Academy. My daughter has been there for the past two years and is happy there. Her attitude has changed toward the teachers and school in general. She's grown from not wanting to know anything about school to not wanting to miss a day of school. I owe that to the Language Academy.

It is imperative that they do not close this school, for the sake of our children who attend there. This group of kids will otherwise fall through the cracks in a larger setting. The principal, teachers and employees give their very best for the kids, and it shows.

Please give these students the opportunity to continue to grow, especially now that the Plato Academy has come on board. I appreciate all of the hard work the Language Academy has done, and I hope the School Board will make the right decision.

Janice Lopez, New Port Richey

Bad drivers need to be punished

Are the highways really safe?

Have you ever been to traffic court? Let me tell you about my experience with Pasco County traffic court as a result of a Florida Highway Patrol citation for a moving violation.

I was pulled over by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper and was given an expensive ticket, that, of course, I didn't deserve. I decided to plead not guilty and take the matter to court. What shocked me was what I witnessed at the hearing in traffic court to fight the citation. About 15 to 20 minutes before the hearing started, the county clerk made an announcement that if any of the 30-plus violators present wanted, they could opt to not fight their citation or appear before the judge and just pay the fine and court cost. This way, no points would be assessed on their record. And it was strongly suggested that you should take this option or else you were most likely going to end up still paying the fines and court costs and getting the points. (I know two of the five who decided to fight their citation lost; I'm willing to bet the other three did, too.)

If there is no reprimand or punishment for a moving violation, no threat of losing your license because of excessive points, no traffic school to educate violators, how can our highways be considered safe? It seems that as long as the fines are paid, finances keep the budgets in the black, who cares if we are taking steps to remove poor drivers from the highways. Why do we even have a point system?

Gigi Bondi, Hudson

Stolen decorations better be enjoyed

To the person who stole the Christmas decorations from the front of my house and from other houses in the Shadow Run subdivision, I hope you enjoy them.

I know my grandchildren will miss them.

Joseph Scalici, Hudson