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Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014
Letters To The Editor

Letters to the editor: Cheap reporting

Published:

Cheap reporting

Regarding “Chamblee apologizes to Woods in series of tweets” (Oct. 22):

Recent reporting about Tiger Woods cheating on the golf course and comparing it cheating on a fourth-grade math test has to be the lowest cheap-shot reporting I have seen in ages. Was this reporter so low on the food chain in sports reporting that he had to go into the toilet for a story? Tiger, in spite of problems in his personal life, has taken golf to its highest heights in years. Did he cheat on the golf course? Did he need to cheat to win? That’s up to the PGA, not some third-rate reporter looking for a story at a superstar’s expense. Where was the editor? Do his bosses need to defame a legend in golf just to make a buck? No wonder our citizens are dubious of media.

Ron Dakin

Spring Hill

‘The best candidate’

It is wrong for Alex Sink to run for Congress. She does not live in the district she plans to run for. She will not know the people she plans to represent. She is not a veteran, and Congress has to address terrorism and the needs of our veterans.

The best candidate for Bill Young’s seat is Sonya March. She is a former fighter pilot and graduate of the Air Force Academy who has degrees in business and finance. Unlike Sink, Capt. March has lived in the district all her life, and she is a veteran who knows about veterans’ issues. She would be a great lawmaker for the people of the St. Petersburg area and knows them.

Tom Chastain

Tampa

‘The perfect balance’

Alex Sink had my vote in 2010, when she lost to Gov. Rick Scott by a margin of about 1 percent. And once again she can count on my vote when she runs for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives that had belonged to C.W. Bill Young. There is no doubt that the House needs more Democrats to help even out the count. Sink’s experience and level-headedness are the perfect balance to help stave off the gridlock that Washington has become known for.

JoAnn Lee Frank

Clearwater

Service complaint

HealthCare.gov will not allow a person to calculate the cost of premiums without having to provide all personal information and fully enroll. That is not good service.

John Swift

Ruskin

Obamacare and buccaneers

I still find the announcement that the federal government is set to embark on the Affordable Care Act amusing. They really have done such an outstanding job of running (ruining) Social Security, the Postal Service, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, Medicare and Medicaid. And last, but not least, the Department of Energy, created to lessen our dependence on foreign oil, which now has 16,000 employees hell-bent on turning 90 percent of our corn crop into a fuel additive that consumers do not want or need.

This brings new meaning to the joke, “Do you know what a buccaneer is?”

“No.”

“It’s a hell of a price for corn!”

Can’t wait to see where Obamacare will end up in two years.

Roger H. Oddson

Sun City Center

The decline of education

“CEOs tout Common Core” (Nation & World, Oct 28) is yet another piece extolling the virtues of Common Core and its standardized testing. It nibbles around the edges but doesn’t come out and say exactly why such testing is desirable. The fact is, public education has been so badly corrupted over the years that it’s no longer producing a quality product.

When I graduated from high school (1962) the closest thing to a standardized test was the SAT. Not everyone took it, but if you wanted to go to college it was an excellent precursor of your ability to do higher-level work. SAT scores peaked nationally in 1963 and, with a few bumps, have gone downhill since. Time was that one’s GPA had meaning. Graduating in the top five, 10, or even 25 percent of one’s class also meant something to colleges and potential employers. That was then; this is now.

One new approach to education followed another while the results got worse. At one time a perfect 1600 score on the SAT meant you’d gotten every answer correct on the verbal and math portions. A few years ago they “re-normed” the scoring, and now you can get questions wrong and still be “perfect,” thus undermining the value of the test results.

We didn’t used to have social promotions. If you couldn’t show that you’d learned what was expected, you didn’t move on. You could be sure that every graduate would be able to read and understand his diploma. I don’t think you can be certain of that today. We’re more concerned about bruising a pupil’s self-esteem than being honest. How many parents ask how rigorous the honor student selection criteria are?

I think it’s time that we ask why we need Common Core and FCAT testing. Why can we no longer trust our schools to be honest about our children’s achievements and, instead, need outside verification? Common Core and FCAT tests are nothing more or less than silver bullets that we hope will slay the destructive creature that has been created in the social laboratory of public education.

John S.V. Weiss

Spring Hill

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