USF needs to stay grounded as it reaches for lofty goals | Editorial, Nov. 28
The role models aren’t right
While you make very good points in your editorial on the University of South Florida’s College of Education, you missed the ball in the online subtitle, “USF is not Harvard or Stanford. And that’s okay.” And you missed again in the last paragraph when you implied that the USF administration’s problem is quality instruction versus service to the community.
Quality and service are actually aligned: regenerating our democracy — and empowering citizens in an age of artificial intelligence — requires first-class education. Quality both in teaching future teachers and developing more effective ways to teach students. Education is changing, we are in the midst of a revolution in education research and practice, and USF should aspire to be a world leader in education.
The problem is the perception that education is a lesser field than, say, engineering or humanities. In fact, the American Association of Universities — which USF administrators often cite — actually denigrates education as a “Phase II” field. The problem isn’t that USF shouldn’t aspire to be a great university like Harvard or Stanford; the problem is that role models like Harvard and Stanford have lost their marbles.
Gregory McColm, Temple Terrace
This would harm the Black community | Letters, Nov. 29
I’m fighting for my life
I would do everything possible to avoid injury to protestors, but in view of the dynamic realities of how mob rule spills out onto public streets without warning, I find myself fighting for my life. Government cannot protect citizens from mobs. Government can give citizens legal protection when self-defense is the only option. Support Gov. Ron DeSantis’ new bill expanding the protections of innocent citizens.
Donald Lee, Seminole
Want to understand Biden voters? Here’s a starting point | Column, Nov. 29
Trump re-energized us
Columnist Eugene Robinson recommends that people who want to understand voters for Presidentelect Joe Biden read, watch or listen to numerous, admittedly good resources. But his column makes the assumption that those who supported President Donald Trump would commit themselves to such an effort. I have a simpler explanation for Trump supporters who can’t believe that their candidate lost, especially considering that other Republican candidates in the same geographic areas prevailed.
Among the folks close to me who aren’t registered Democrats: my conservative Republican stepfather who voted for Biden, and voted for Republicans in other races; my conservative Republican brother who voted for Biden, and voted for Republicans in other races; my spouse, a Black American who didn’t even vote for former President Barack Obama in either 2008 or 2012, but voted for Biden.
These are just the people in my own small, personal orbit. Multiply me by the millions who voted in this election, and you can easily figure out the “how” of this indisputably legitimate Biden landslide. I would suggest that there are few, other than Trump’s most ardent supporters, who are seriously asking “why.”
We should thank President Trump for reminding all Americans of the power of their vote. His imperial presidency and current candidacy have newly engaged or re-energized many of us who have previously questioned it.
Joan Costello, Clearwater