Yes you in the back there (copy)

Something is wrong with the system

Why is no one addressing the very obvious other side of the coin in education these days? Why do we take the word of The Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal in assessing why test scores are stagnating and students are “failing” in public schools? How can we really evaluate progress when the whole system is so convoluted?

I was a public school educator for 30 years, and I was not in the teachers’ union. However, people who now work or who did work within the system can better explain what’s happening. The latest laws and testing procedures have led education into a dead end — from “No Child Left Behind” to the present.

As you know, years ago students were evaluated with letter grades. As teachers, we understood that there was a Bell-curve, with some children performing at each end of the curve and most students functioning somewhere in the middle. We also knew that a variety of factors would influence how students would perform. Indeed, most of the students I taught got Bs and Cs, as was probably true of the majority of the people reading this letter. In today’s terminology, you would be labeled “partially proficient,” but most of us went on to become successful citizens.

When only “A” students can be “proficient,” according to the current tests, there is something wrong with the system. Why are we accepting the results of such a strange detour in education? Why has Kindergarten become what 1st grade used to be in terms of expectations? Why do we put such pressure on children for 13 years of their lives to measure up? Is this part of the “every child must go to college” push?

Instead of protesting the results of the Nation’s Report Card, I think the parents should be protesting the changes in education over the last 20 years. We need to let the teachers get back to teaching, with our support. What is the big push to privatize all schools? Get rid of the testing/terminology being used which make it sound like all public schools are going down the tubes. Let kids be kids, and encourage them to do their best, and get rid of the hysteria, “The sky is falling; the sky is falling.”

Sandra Wickham

Woodland Park

Free enterprise solution to health care

I’m responding to Dr. Kristine Hembre’s guest column on health care. While she made some good points on the cost of health care, her solution of turning it all over to the government is crazy. We already have an example of how the government handles a single payer system — the VA. Is that what we want??

Another doctor, Dr. Henry Krahn, from Canada wrote the book “The Single Payer System.” He was one of the strongest advocates of nationalizing the Canadian system. He now says it was a mistake. Canada now has shortages of doctors, supplies and medical facilities resulting in long wait periods and lower quality of care. Over 60% of the doctors in his province are from Asia and Africa because the economics don’t make sense for Canadian doctors. He says, “A government-managed health care system leads to a shortage in a land of plenty.” His solution is to “adopt a free enterprise system of health care.” His best quote is that the Canadian system “has changed patients from customers into liabilities.”

Yet another doctor, Dr. Marty Makay, is a surgeon and health policy expert at Johns Hopkins. In his new book “The Price We Pay” he agrees that free enterprise (with some government bumper guards) is the solution to the high cost of health care. He feels we need to be medical customers and that creating health care price transparency is one of the keys. He said, “Let’s use sunlight as a disinfectant” and heralded Florida’s new law requiring medical providers to publish their actual prices for services.

He gave a great example of consumerism where a company called Healthcare Bluebook publishes prices for common medical procedures and tests. Medical facilities get a ranking of green, amber or red. Some employers that partner with Bluebook reward their employees with a bonus check if they choose a “green” facility. Now that’s capitalism at work!

Let’s chose to fix health care costs by deploying the power of our free enterprise system.

We need to keep loons like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren from destroying the world’s highest quality health care system and turning it into the VA.

Mark Spowart

Monument

Government and quality health care

The letter from Bethan Winder with the headline “Nothing wrong with Medicare for All” is misguided. The U.S. has a little more than 4% of the world’s population, but we account for 57% of new drugs brought to market and most of the new medical devices and equipment. Heath care accounts for more than 16% of the entire U.S. economy and for this reason, it is the most dynamic and best health system in the world and Medicare for All would destroy that.

Currently, two groups of Americans are largely dependent on the federal government for health care. They are veterans and Native Americans, and their care is substandard and the outcomes are awful.

Look at the morbidity and mortality figures for these people. We all know about the scandals in the VA over wait time for veterans and cost overruns for its construction projects, such as the one near Denver. The 2020 VA budget is $220 billion and it employees about 378,000 workers. Most of the VA’s budget goes for salaries and overhead. If the federal government cannot provide quality heath care for 4.5 million Native Americans and a few million veterans, why does anybody think they can provide Medicare to 327 million Americans?

Sam Taylor

Colorado Springs

Might be considered mail fraud

I recently received a “Voting Report Card” mailing from the Coloradans for Prosperity.

The mailing is either specious or blatantly false. It states, “Public records indicate that you voted less often than your neighbors in recent elections.”

I have little doubt that they could pick convenient definitions of “neighbors” and “recent elections” where that might be true for many recipients.

However, I am quite certain that their implication that they checked all such public records, compared segments of the population against one another, and then only sent this “Report Card” to voters where this applied, is fraudulent. They did not check the public records of my voting, did not compare my rate of voting to some average, and did not only send this report card to those below some average.

Since they made these false claims in order to convince people to take action for their benefit, I believe that constitutes fraud. Since it was done via mail, that might be considered mail fraud. The groups that want you to support Proposition CC are deceitful and just want your money.

Jim Henderson

Colorado Springs

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