About today’s students struggling with math, I took algebra in the ninth grade. The difficulty was simply transitioning from actual numbers to symbolic letters in the various groupings.
We moved a lot after our father died. But what got us through was stubborn perseverance and hard, hard work. Whatever my IQ score was, nothing got accomplished without hard work.
In the sixth grade, I encountered multiplication and division of fractions, which I had never had in any previous school. The teachers answered my request, and I instantly learned the operations.
But again, it took hard work and practice. Students cannot goof off and expect to achieve any more than getting jobs flipping burgers at McDonald’s.
Throughout early schooling, one must work hard, doggedly persevere and charge ahead to accomplish anything.
William A. Ingram
Steve Rose column
In Steve Rose’s latest assault on the truth, he called the Kansas Policy Institute and Rep. Jerry Lunn “anti-tax zealots” who would “sacrifice quality education” (1-10, Commentary, “Don’t let anti-tax zealots imperil Kansas schools”).
I can’t speak for Rep. Lunn but have only heard him call for improving the quality of education, as do we. Opposing unnecessary tax increases may perturb Mr. Rose, but we do not oppose taxes.
Demagoguery is a favorite tactic to divert attention from the real issue. Only 32 percent of Kansas students are considered college ready. Only about a quarter of low-income fourth-grade students and barely half of the others are proficient in reading and math.
It will take centuries to close those achievement gaps. Even in Blue Valley, only 33 percent of low-income 10th-graders are on track to be college-ready in math and just 54 percent of the rest.
The old system that produced these results provided a 45 percent real funding increase (adjusting for inflation and enrollment). Schools claim funding drives achievement, but as Mr. Rose stated, Kansas legislative research says such claims cannot be proved.
I invite Mr. Rose to join me in a public discussion of the need for a new student-focused system with accountability for outcomes and efficient use of taxpayer money.
Kansas Policy Institute
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has pressed his reservations about Sen. Ted Cruz’s citizenship (1-13, A5, “Trump’s ‘birther’ attacks on Cruz may affect Iowa caucus”).
I believe Republican presidential contender Cruz has proved his mother’s American citizenship.
I was born in Cruz’s hometown of Calgary, Alberta. My mother was probably an American, but she was an orphan and her citizenship could not be established. I became a naturalized American in the normal routine.
The questions for Cruz are: What kind of citizenship papers did he have in Canada? Did he vote there? Run for office?
If he has a U.S. passport, what documentation did he present to obtain it? No international convention has established what dual citizenship means.
Rev. Lyle P. Murphy
Health care bind
What is our government doing to us?
Our health care has gone up 50 percent in two years, and we are told it will keep going up. Now we can’t get health care other than through “the exchange.”
People are bound by rules set by insurance companies and Congress, which are putting a stranglehold on middle-class and older citizens. Do the people who get these subsidized rates know they will incur a huge deductible?
We have no voice, and the media avoid any derogatory comments about the Affordable Care Act. One editorial commented how we should be happy that Obamacare is federally subsidized. Did the writer not know where federal money comes from?
I have lost a wife and two brothers to cancer. None was able to collect Social Security.
What other investment disappears if you pass? Oh, you get survivor benefits. So guess who gets the other half?
Read the obituaries; see how many of us pass before collecting. You will be surprised.
This is a travesty perpetrated by our elected officials. Here is our government overspending our money without regard for its citizens.
Where is our voice?