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Gazette Premium Content LETTERS: Common Core serves children; Hobby Lobby

Letters Published: April 15, 2014

Best choice for the future

I have to admit straight off, I have never been employed as a public school teacher. I am the product of public education and my children are as well. I spent middle school and most of high school in eastern Kansas. We transferred between my junior and senior year to western Nebraska where to my surprise, had I taken the required civics class my junior year in Kansas I could have graduated without having to attend a day of my senior year. As it turned out, I took the required civics class that first semester and left school with my diploma after Christmas. I would have to say that Kansas held students to a higher bar than Nebraska.

My three children received IB diplomas from Palmer High School. This is an international 'common core' curriculum that is highly regarded around the world due to the fact that the curriculum and passing standards are common regardless of where the diploma was received.

As a country (not as Democrats or Republicans or libertarians) we have decided we want all of our children regardless of where they reside, to be among the top educated children in the world. To Pauline Hawkins and other teachers who feel as she does, I can only say that Common Core is something that serves students future interests, which is the best choice for the future of this country.

Dan Spohn, Monument

No shortage of people to fill vacancy

I saw on the news that some teacher published a written notice of her resignation from District 20 on the Internet. A disenchanted teacher creates a spectacle over her decision to quit. That's right, she's a quitter! She thinks she's hot stuff; maybe the best teacher ever, but she's underpaid and wants the world to know it.

Not only that, but she doesn't like to have her work examined (standardized testing). So that, if there were no testing done, the money spent on testing could be used to pay teachers more (I noticed she didn't want free breakfast, lunch, and dinner canceled to pay for her raise).

Well, she's wrong, in my estimation. Teachers are paid a market clearing wage, with generous benefits, that is public knowledge and agreed to willingly by employees when they accept the contract. She's certainly free to quit when she feels put upon, but she should realize that there are 92 million Americans that don't have jobs now, and 200,000 new teachers graduating every year. There is no shortage of willing people to fill her vacancy, but that has nothing to do with getting noticed, which is why I think she went public. Did she say she's writing a book?

Her criticism of the curriculum was interesting, since it's almost entirely a result of top-down centralized government and the teachers union who actually run most school boards. Ironically, teachers, indirectly, have created the monster they now abhor. And, to my mind, there needs to be some sort of objective, standardized testing to evaluate how well students have learned from their teachers. For if there is no accountability, we might as well just hire one teacher and a videographer to record all lessons and send the students a copy at home. That would save some money, huh?

James Davis, Colorado Springs

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Prejudice simply must stop

The April 10 editorial ("Law forces photographers to work same-sex weddings") made for an interesting read. Though the tone of the piece was conciliatory, I wondered if I had entered a time warp and returned to the good old days of segregation when, if you wished to marry someone of a different race because you loved them, you were forbidden to do so by "the law." Or to a time in the late 19th and early 20th centuries of the "Know Nothings" when signs in some shop windows in Boston said: "Help Wanted! Dogs and Irish need not apply."

While the Huguenins are entitled to their beliefs about gay weddings, have they also refused to photograph a wedding where the bride was very, very pregnant? Maybe they should list all of the instances where their services would "create expression conveying messages that conflict with their religious beliefs", then persons seeking photographic services would know up front if they would qualify.

People and groups have used some sort of "reasoning" to justify their prejudice for millennia, but at some point in time it simply must stop. Our society, and indeed the world, will not survive as long as we give hate, masquerading behind some sort religious or political stance, free reign.

As the poet/author James Baldwin has said "Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have."

Bob Armintor, Colorado Springs

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Family's not perfect, but honest

In her letter to the editor, "Seems like a contradiction", Sharon Beaman was not working with all of the facts. It is very disconcerting how people will play so loosely with the facts when they are wishing to deny people their constitutional rights to free exercise of religion and freedom of speech.

The owners of Hobby Lobby do not object to birth control in general, but only to those methods that take a human life. Like many people in the U.S., the owners consider life to begin at conception and to willfully take that life is morally wrong. Refusing to pay for such contraceptive methods is not the equivalent of refusing vaccinations or cancer treatment. Those treatments do not kill anyone as their primary function - any deaths that occur are accidental and rare.

I'm not sure where Beaman got the information about the investments of the owners of Hobby Lobby. If she is using the same sources that say that they wish to ban all contraception, I doubt the veracity of the information. But if it is true, then the Hobby Lobby family has some changes to make and I strongly suspect that they will make them. That's the kind of people they are. Not perfect, but honest and doing their best to live out what they believe, even if it costs them money.

Michael Hanratty, Colorado Springs

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