Letters: Real reason for closing schools

Posted: December 18, 2012

THE SCHOOL closing proposal by the new schools chief ("Learning Curve," editorial, Dec. 14) was predictable and predicted. The continued expansion of charter schools has caused a deliberate shrinkage in regular public-school enrollment. Anyone who does not see this as a gradual absorption of the public school system by private interests is not paying attention.

It is disingenuous to say that the reasons for closure are not things the system's managers have caused themselves. The SRC was supposed to have fiduciary responsibility for keeping schools open and academically viable. Handing out one charter-school contract after another with less and less oversight is irresponsible.

Academic progress, another excuse for closing, cannot be measured realistically by a standardized test that demands 100 percent proficiency by 2014.

So, if they start with an assessment piece that is basically invalid, while selling more and more seats to private managers, how can there be any other conclusion than that they are out to destroy the system they pretend to be saving?

Gloria C. Endres, retired teacher

Philadelphia

Rotating doesn't work

In the prison system we had the rotation thing, now the Fire Department does. It did not work for us and it will not work for them. In the prisons you did not get to know your partner and he/she did not get to know you. It made for more problems, and the inmates were watching. With guards being on the same post you get to know the problem inmates. So they (officials) changed it back.

As for the fine men and women, when you have to run into a fire you want to know who is running with you. Do you trust them, do they trust you? When you work with someone every day you know each other's moves. Why mess up a good thing? Put new firefighters with the older ones. They will get to know each other.

George Trapp, former prison guard

Philadelphia

Why no charges?

A police officer was linked to several properties that were transferred to her without paying city and state transfer taxes ( Daily News, Dec. 6). The reasons for exemption given were that those previous owners were either her mother, father or sister.

I don't understand why DA Seth Williams didn't charge her criminally.

Police Commissioner Ramsey is correct to order a hearing for her because the taxes that she failed to pay were due her employer (the city). I would hope there were not other "oaths" (written or verbal) she took and decided not to adhere to.

Mayer Krain

Philadelphia

Republican strategy

Republican pundits and analysts have concluded that they lost because their party is too old, too white and too male. While this is quite a healthy self-realization, they seem to be missing the point. Demographics aren't their problem, it's their policies. They refuse to recognize that if they continue to promote policies that are only attractive to a narrow segment of voters, regardless of age, race or gender, they are reducing their viability as a formidable alternative to the Democratic Party.

Unfortunately, their thought leaders and party faithful aren't talking about policy changes. They know they're right. So, they say their goal for 2016 will be convincing dim-witted voters, including young people, "colored" people and females of the superiority of their positions.

Here's their apparent game plan for success:

Convince women that politicians should approve or deny their access to contraceptives and abortion.

Convince gays and lesbians that they are morally inferior and do not deserve equal treatment.

Convince those who lived through the market crash of '07-08 that privatizing Social Security is a great idea.

Convince the voters of Colorado and Washington that legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana should be met with mass arrests by federal agents and life sentences in taxpayer funded prisons.

Convince the poor that their children's hunger will no longer exist if we simply eliminate government support and rely solely on private donations.

Convince the elderly that their lifelong payments to Medicare and Social Security make them moochers, entitled to vouchers, but not guarantees.

Convince investors that average annual returns of -3.1 percent under Bush are better that +20.1 percent annual returns under Obama.

Convince scientists that evolution and global warming are egg-headed nonsense.

Convince voters that excessive regulations designed to solve problems that don't exist are the root of all evil, except when it comes to voter ID laws.

Convince an ever-increasing population of non-religions Americans that they need to continue paying higher taxes, so churches and faith-based organizations can operate tax-free.

Convince victims of gun violence that the solution to too many guns is more guns.

Jay Lynch

Upper St. Clair, Pa.

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