Coupon Codes For Online Shopping
Coupon Codes For Online Shopping

Partly Cloudy
7-Day Forecast

Get Breaking News

Receive special offers from
Originally published: 2013-09-04 17:11:12
Last modified: 2013-09-04 17:12:50

Simple solutions

Simple solutions to complex problems ... the motive and method of the recent North Carolina General Assembly. Rather than "motive," we thought of "philosophy," but that means "love of wisdom" and just does not fit.

For example, some people ineligible to vote managed to do so, and many voted for the "wrong" party. So, the solution is focused legislation that narrows voting opportunities and eligibility -- a reminder that once only white males had the vote. 

Some private schools, no doubt, offer excellent service to affluent families. No doubt, many public schools must improve, although the statement that "public schools have failed" is an absurd generalization. Public schools, often for complex reasons, have failed some children. So, the solution provides vouchers, which will not pay for a poor child to attend a good private school, while reducing funding for public schools.

No doubt, a small percentage of teachers statewide do not perform well.  So, the solution is to eliminate tenure, enabling administrators and boards of education to fire teachers who might improve with assistance, and those who are too assertive, too passive, too liberal, too conservative, too Democratic, too Republican or too union, depending on the perceptions of evaluators. 

No doubt, there are teachers whose advanced degrees do not reflect their performance in classrooms. So, the solution is to remove incentives and compensation for teachers willing to pay for professional training, especially onerous when paired with no salary increase in many years, increased class sizes, fewer teacher assistants.

But there is some good news. A full 25 percent of teachers who work very hard can earn a $500 bonus. After taxes, that should cover the out-of-pocket money they spend during the year on classroom supplies.

No doubt, most children are intellectually prepared for schooling, so we ignore the thousands of 4-year- old children who begin school several laps down and fall further behind each year of the race toward graduation. 

People say, "Call your representative. Go to Raleigh, join the protest."  For what purpose? We have no representatives who seem to care about promoting public education, recognizing sinking morale of teachers, defining tragic implications of permanent poverty -- all very complicated issues.  

After an initial flurry, protests are largely ignored. Being arrested shows commitment, but makes no visible difference in the narrow halls of our legislature.

And, most important, we do not have the money for unlimited campaign contributions that would guarantee our voice is heard and our issues considered. As educators, we do not belong to a favored class, not anymore, if ever.

We are educators, retired after a combined 57 years in public schools, so our view may be predisposed -- that part, we have in common with our legislators.  

We are not flaming liberals or political whiners, just people with conscience who believe that, by design or consequence, state government is legislating compassion out of our culture. We can afford that virtue no longer -- no doubt.

Dick and Jackie Jones    Boone