Almost everyone in this country believes in an equal opportunity for everyone. Yet why do so many resist an equal opportunity for everyone to receive health care?
Prairie Village Know Common Core
You are probably just beginning to hear about Common Core State Standards.
A recent Gallup Poll suggests 62 percent of parents know nothing about it.
Unfortunately, a lot of misinformation is being spread about Common Core State Standards to score political points and/or scare parents.
Here then are verifiable facts about Common Core:
The goal is college and workforce readiness for all students.
The effort to develop the standards was led by states, not the federal government.
It’s not a curriculum. It doesn’t tell teachers how to teach.
Better, fairer and more accurate assessment tools are being developed to measure the higher Common Core skills. It urges changes in learning for English language arts and mathematics.
It creates consistent learning goals for all students, regardless of where they live or go to school.
It’s benchmarked against academic standards from the world’s top-performing countries.
More than 70 percent of parents who have read the standards support them. More than 77 percent of teachers support the standards.
The standards are endorsed by the U.S. military and the National Chamber of Commerce.
Students are not asked to learn more but to go deeper into fewer core concepts, focusing on the most important topics.
Common Core focuses on 21st century skills — the things students will actually be required to know and do to be successful.
To read them for yourself and learn who actually supports the standards, visit corestandards.org.
Liberty KCI blunder
The revelation that Southwest Airlines hasn’t even been consulted about whether it wants a change at Kansas City International Airport and whether Southwest would financially support it is appalling (11-14, A1, “KCI plan’s costs worry Southwest”). The carrier that moves 51 percent of all passengers through KCI isn’t even asked for an opinion.
But our city officials have told us for nearly a year that the new $1.2 billion terminal is wanted by the airlines and indeed would largely be paid for by the airlines. Who forgot to call Southwest?
Mayor Sly James convened a task force to study the concept of bulldozing the airport that nearly everyone loves for something that only bureaucrats and construction interests favor. The task force must have forgotten to call Southwest, too. But task-force members intend to interview Southwest “sometime this winter” before they make their final recommendation in April.
It doesn’t matter that the three most recent cities to remodel their airports have seen reductions in travel volume. Remember the millions of dollars we spent remodeling KCI a few years ago?
It’s obvious that city officials and certain interests made this decision for us long ago. After all, government always knows best.
Kevin F. Clune
Kansas City New party problem
A Star reader (11-12, Letters) said this country needs a new political party, one that hits a happy medium. It would be called the Big Moderate Party.
Excuse me. Wouldn’t that be the BM Party?
We already have too much of that.
Overland Park Pope’s embrace
It saddened me to read that basic human values such as empathy, love and mutual respect for mankind are treated as if they were just a political ideology (11-10, A11, “Some feel left out of pope’s embrace”). Why should an extraordinary man such as Pope Francis have his “prayer card” thrown away because of encouraging support for inclusionary love instead of exclusionary political views?
I ask myself, if instead of feeling left out of humanistic philosophy, why not join with him because we are more human than otherwise? I invite us to reflect upon what is more basic and lasting: the values we are born with, those of being human, or the ones added later to our humanity, such as political ideology and wealth that are transitory in nature.
We should be cautious not to confuse being left out with leaving ourselves out by abandoning transcending human values.
Walter F. Ricci, M.D.
Overland Park Thanks to reStart
How refreshing and hopeful to read the front-page Nov. 14 article, “New start for KC’s homeless,” on reStart’s program to change the way Kansas City is helping the homeless.
I did not understand how putting people on the street during the daytime was helping them overcome their situations. Evie Craig and her staff are to be complimented on helping overcome the problems that cause homelessness. What a blessing this can be to help people who are unable to overcome this tragic situation.
I applaud you, Evie, and your innovative ideas. My hope is that this will truly work and help solve this ongoing problem that has increased with the economic situation in America.
My own opinion is that the lack of jobs and affordable housing in safe neighborhoods are the main causes of homelessness. I believe that any of us could become homeless through the loss of a job, medical problems and expenses, family problems, etc.
It is not just substance abuse and laziness that cause homelessness. These people need compassion and help. Thank you reStart.
Overland Park Government’s girth
I’m still trying to get people and the Congress to focus rather than fume.
The Star and some readers regularly blame tea party Republicans for all of the country’s ills. They follow the blame game of President Barack Obama, focusing on pet projects they support rather than any attempt to consider funding.
The country decries government graft and waste but demonizes the only group in Washington focused on ending misleading and mismanaged projects sponsored by an overspending government.
You can’t have a never-ending line of annual trillion-dollar deficit spending and not eventually come up insolvent. Then what do you do for all of the high-minded platforms you’ve supported when the country is bankrupt?
There is a big difference between being unconcerned about the benefits of government programs and recognizing that they’re not only impractical but unfundable.
Kansas City Global-warming facts
In a world where 95 percent of climate scientists not only believe that global warming is a reality, but also that it is man-made, it does a serious disservice to us all to make it into a joke.
We’re all on the same spinning planet with a thin layer of atmosphere on it. It’s a fragile and volatile situation.
If people do any research, they’d see a rise in global temperatures the likes of which hasn’t been seen for millions of years. That research might lead more people to see the overwhelming and alarming melting of the polar ice caps.
The frequency and severity of severe storms also raise serious concerns.
This isn’t George Bush’s fault, but he, too, snickered at the real science.
When it comes to world issues, I’m going to turn to people who’ve spent their entire lives studying it, not a handful of those who stand to benefit from preserving the status quo.