I applaud the efforts of the Olathe schools in serving as pilot members for implementing innovative changes in instruction and curriculum. (Jan. 2, 12A, “Olathe schools help pilot education redesign project”)
But I do object to Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson saying, “We’re getting ready to do something we don’t know of any other state having done. We’re going to deconstruct the traditional school system and build what Kansans believe best meets the needs of today’s students — choice.”
In 1972, I worked in the Wilson Campus School in Mankato, Minn. Built around the ideas of Don Glines and his book “Creating Humane Schools,” the school served students ages 5 through 18 in an ungraded environment that centered on student choice. As teachers, we advertised our classes, and students selected those they were interested in taking with the teachers they wanted.
“Grades” were actually individual goal sheets developed by the student, their teachers and their parents. Cross-discipline activities were the norm, such as when the entire school spent a week studying the future from a variety of perspectives.
Many of these ideas were used in other schools around the country, too.
So, again, congratulations to the efforts in Olathe. But a little historical perspective might be in order.
Toasting the bird
Just think: If the Benjamin Franklin myth were true, and he had had his way about choosing our national bird, we’d be celebrating the Philadelphia Turkeys’ Super Bowl win.
Could have been …
As you watched the Super Bowl, did you think about the Chiefs having beaten both teams playing?
And did you ask yourself: What did those teams do to get better the rest of the season to reach the playoffs and then advance to the Super Bowl?
And was this while also asking yourself: What the heck happened to the Chiefs to fall short once again after such a promising start?
Is it leadership or ownership?
This country is so far in debt that I don’t even know how to write a number that large. And that person in the White House (I refuse to call him president) wants to spend billions of dollars to build a border wall with Mexico. Someone will sell taller ladders.
Before his four years are up, Canada may build a wall to keep Americans out.
Grateful for service
Many thanks to Kansas City’s 911 system and the Missouri Department of Transportation, which coordinated the rescue of my daughter and young grandchild when their car stalled on I-435 Sunday evening — in the dark, in the 16-degree cold, with their cellphone battery running low.
I especially appreciate the way the 911 dispatcher kept me calm, and the way the MoDOT driver found my daughter and grandchild and got them to safety.
Demand for action
What is wrong with you, Rep. Lynn Jenkins and Sens. Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts?
Why do you remain silent as President Donald Trump, aided and abetted by House Republicans and Fox News, smears and undermines American institutions and democratic norms?
Prima facie evidence is his continued all-out assault on our free press and the rule of law in the oldest democracy in the world. Particularly egregious are his constant references to “fake news” and his unrelenting attacks on the Justice Department and FBI — the two most important democratic institutions in the executive branch.
His actions are an abuse of power and quite likely constitute obstruction of justice under our federal criminal code.
Additionally, why aren’t you raising holy hell that Trump has decided not to implement the Russian sanctions passed overwhelmingly by Congress in 2017, and which he signed into law?
Please tell me how Trump is not violating his presidential oath of office.
Overall, your silence shows a complete lack of moral courage, and unwillingness to put our country and its democratic institutions and norms ahead of partisan politics.
Someday, history will judge your cowardice and complicit behavior harshly. When that happens, I hope and pray our country is still that “shining city on a hill.”