The current one-size-fits-all standards of our school systems must be changed.
Granted, providing courses at different difficulty levels has been a benefit for students, but such opportunities are not offered in all subjects. And even then, it is wrong to assume that any class is full of students who are at the same level.
On one end, you have students who are bored or uninterested with unengaging work they do to stay with the rest of the class.
Never miss a local story.
On the other end, I know people at my school who are frustrated with not understanding material but are forced to move at an uncomfortable pace so all the required curriculum can be covered.
It’s worth considering, then, that the current classroom setting is all wrong. Rather than teaching the class on a group basis, teachers should be trained to work with students in a more individualized way that keeps every student up to speed with the curriculum but also challenges the students who need challenging.
What I believe is needed is a transformation of our school systems that no longer lumps unique students together.
I joined millions of voters saddened on that Wednesday morning when I heard the election results.
I immediately took to Facebook to assuage my pain and suffering. But when the gloating and virtual high-fiving from my conservative friends began, it was too much.
I am a well-off, older white guy. I felt a crushing sense of not being included in my own country.
The hatred and boasting I have seen coming from the right is real. I decided to disengage from Facebook. But I found I cannot retreat into a shell, nor do I want to.
Every day, new appointments are being planned by Donald Trump. It reads like a nightmare.
Those who warned of dark days under a Trump presidency are finding them coming true, especially if they are not white, rich and/or a Christian evangelical.
As I become more cynical and less optimistic, I recall the words of jazz legend Mose Allison, who recently died: “I don’t worry ’bout a thing, ’cause I know nothin’s gonna be all right.”
I am thankful to Hillary Clinton for years of outstanding contributions in upholding our country’s best values.
Her tireless advocacy for human rights, especially the rights of women and children worldwide, and for those mired in poverty and health crises, was exemplary.
She has been passionate about promoting aid and shelter for desperate refugees, supporting climate and gun control, providing universal health care, and replacing hate, Islamophobia and homophobia with acceptance, love and hope.
She has admitted mistakes and apologized.
Her behavior during the recent campaign was beyond courageous. After enduring pillorying and character assassination in the face of crazed crowds stoked into a herd-like mentality that rivaled Jim Crow-era lynching mobs, she stood as a model of grace, congratulated her odious rival on winning and wished him a successful presidency for the good of our country.
Then, quoting Scripture, her mainstay, she urged citizens to never weary of fighting for what is right.
Hillary Clinton’s unflagging patriotism and her example of actually living her Methodist faith showed all of us how to be better Americans and many of us how to be better Christians. I am so grateful.
Civics are crucial
Missouri legislators decided that Missouri schools must administer a civics test to ninth-graders after July 2017. The civics test would be very similar to what is required of immigrants to gain U.S. citizenship.
I support this measure. Why shouldn’t a natural-born citizen be held to the same standards as an immigrant? As citizens we all have civic duties and rights that every student should be aware of.
The content in the citizenship class is important for any citizen to know. To pass, students must learn the structure of the government, details about the election process and important history, documents and geography.
If we require immigrants to know these things to be part of our country and go to our schools, we citizens should know these important topics without a doubt. These are the kind of fundamentals that need to be instilled in students in early education nationally.
If we don’t have the fundamentals we need to be intelligent individuals, then how can we expect to make intelligent decisions? An uneducated electorate is a dangerous thing.
I would like to respond to the recent evangelical Christian letter writer who voted for Donald Trump because he was pro-life. I would like to remind him that Trump was pro-choice for years before switching to run for president.
I doubt this was some sort of epiphany but rather political expediency.
Trump has proved to be a race-baiting, misogynistic xenophobe. This is hardly the type of person one would associate with being pro-life and a president of all the people.
Trump has stated that climate change is a hoax made up by the Chinese. If so, why did 200 countries recently sign a treaty to deal with this issue?
There are 7.4 billion people in the world. A great percentage live near shorelines that would be affected by rising sea level.
Pro-life ? Trump is pro-denial. Apparently those people don’t count.
Whom would Jesus have voted for? I don’t know, but I doubt he would have cast his lot for a demagogue praised by the KKK and white supremacists.
Pope Francis was right when he said that those more concerned with building walls than bridges are not Christian.
Richard J. Gier
A recent letter writer sought to explain that the reason he and other white evangelical Christians had no choice but to vote for Donald Trump was that Trump opposed abortion. He then elaborated on Trump “mistakes” with which he did not agree, but which were, apparently, unimportant.
Choices often have consequences well beyond those intended. Along with Trump’s abortion stand, you chose to give America Trump’s racial, religious, gender and cultural prejudices, his bullying, his indecent language and his childish temper.
You chose to gift-wrap my beloved Republican Party, the party of Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation, to the KKK and American Nazis.
You chose to embolden anti-Semites to paint swastikas on public playgrounds.
You chose to encourage those who believe homosexual, racial and religious slurs are OK, because, “We won and you lost.”
You have sown the wind, and we are reaping the whirlwind.
As a well-educated, conservative Christian, I am one whom Hillary Clinton referred to as “deplorable.”
Despite that name-calling, and despite my past as a lifelong Republican, I had reluctantly made up my mind to vote for her. But then came the third presidential debate. Ms. Clinton’s opening statement in that debate emphasized her ardent support for abortion — even late-term abortion.
At that moment, she lost my vote. She also lost the election.
I am a well-educated, conservative Christian who voted for President-elect Donald Trump. Please stop calling me a racist, a bigot or an ignorant white supremacist redneck.
I am pro-life. If you still feel you need to call me a name, call me a life lover.
Here to help
When I became a mom 2 1/2 years ago, I was instantly given the innate ability to know how to parent her through every challenging milestone through the age of 18 — said no mom ever.
One of the most challenging and frustrating milestones that we as parents are responsible for is potty training. As moms we think that we should just magically know how to teach our toddlers to use the toilet.
But before you turn to Dr. Google and find a million different resources claiming to be the best method, please ask your pediatrician. We are devoted to the care of your child and have formed a relationship with you and your little one.
We want to be involved in any aspect that you let us. We want you to ask.
So before poop hits the fan, the wall, the floor or even targets you, come talk to us — your friendly neighborhood pediatrician.
Jodi VanGundy, MD
Why are sports so important? Sports create heroes that rally communities, from the high school football star to the professional athlete.
These heroes have an advantage in life from their notoriety and privileges that go well beyond sports.
For some, it leads to millions of dollars. Many come to mind: Muhammad Ali, Michael Phelps, Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth.
They’re the greats, sure, but why is it a struggle to bring many female athletes to mind?
Women don’t get a chance to reap the same level of benefits from sports because Title IX came after the traditions were formed championing male sports.
The male advantage starts in schools where the Friday night games reserved for males sports enlist cheerleaders, dance teams, bands, color guards, sponsors and extended members of the community.
Go to any girls’ game and the stands are almost empty.
How is there equality if the most skilled female athletes don’t get the recognition and fanfare they have worked equally hard for?
Support women and start a tradition of attending games with female athletes.