Letters to the Editor

January 23, 2009
Involved in education To the Editor:The joint meeting on our education system last week was a wonderful start by a large number of some very wonderful and dedicated people. Now let’s talk about the cause of the problem in our schools. Were there any students or parents of students present at the meeting telling those in attendance why they are making the large financial sacrifice to take their children out side to school outside the Santa Paula District? Teachers, ministers and politicians usually do not want to talk about the CAUSES of a problem; they usually just want to offer their idea of a solution. A first step could be the testing of our teachers and of the students on their comprehension of the technology they need to master to move ahead in our tech dominated society. Of course, a good knowledge of the English language is a prerequisite to moving ahead with the technology if they plan on living in the United States.I think we all agree that one of the greatest inventions and teaching aids of all times is the computer. The computer and internet allows anyone to keep current with current events and knowledge on a worldwide basis, quickly and easily. No business or industry in the United States, or the world, today can operate successfully/profitably without the aid of computers. I do not see anything but more technology coming in our future. Families that are parenting children in our country that do not have a computer in their home may not realize that they are handicapping their children and consigning them to a life of poverty. Most new inventions today are aided in some way by a computer. Continental Wind Power is a company that was created by technology, why else would they be looking at our level of education in our schools? If students are not fluent in English from the get-go, they need to be brought up to speed in special Berlitz type classes and then moved forward with the balance of their education. Political correctness and dunderheaded court decisions have relegated all students to the level of the least proficient in English. This is stupid. We are defeating ourselves in this country with such politically correct thinking and policies.Why have our public schools fallen so far behind in the past twenty to thirty years? It is primarily the result of special interest groups, like the ACLU that have taken prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, discipline and standards out of the system and replaced these things with fuzzy thinking and political correctness run amok.The Little Red Schoolhouse, with a good computer, trumps huge factory style schools crammed to the gills with TV and video gamed students anytime.Parents, get involved. Run for school board. Your children and our society needs your involvement and help. The schools will not fix themselves!David KaiserSanta PaulaPart of the problemTo the Editor:Recently the Star ran an article related to Santa Paula’s difficulties in attracting quality firms to our city. Below is my response to that article:
The Star’s ContributionRe: Kathleen Wilson, Wednesday 1/14: “Relocating company sees education as an issue in S.P”.There are a number of us in Santa Paula that appreciate your seeing the impact that the low test scores of our schools are having on our ability to attract the type of business base our city so desperately needs. One can debate the exact number, but arguably we are in the lower 30-40% when our integrated High School and Elementary School test scores are compared with other cities in this county. What we are not sure the Star is seeing, and certainly are you not owning is your contribution to our problem. Please let me explain. The Star continually supports a low cost housing agenda for Santa Paula, and Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation appears high on your list. Therein lies the problem. “Lower end” housing results in a population that is according to research to have test scores below those of a population with better balance of socioeconomics. Of course, Cabrillo, for self-serving reasons, is the number one supporter of the low-end agenda; they are suing our city to build even more low-end housing to further compound the problem. Any business that is considering locating here will focus on test scores, and we need to upgrade our demographics, which I believe is a prerequisite to any significant change in our academic standing. What I am suggesting is that the Star consider helping us achieve a better housing balance by supporting those members of our City Council that are working hard to achieve a better housing balance, and support those future candidates that really understand what it will take to upgrade our city. Please rethink your advocacy of more low-end housing for Santa Paula.Larry SagelySanta PaulaLet’s support local businessesTo the Editor: I am so proud of America. The Obama Administration offers real hope but economic recovery will take time, likely longer than one Presidential term. These are tough times for local merchants and restaurants. Let’s support local establishments as best we can. There are many excellent Santa Paula eating establishments deserving of our patronage. Our favorites are the Iron Horse at the Glen Tavern, the Mupu Grill, La Cabaña, and Familia Diaz. Each of these offers good food, good prices, and a happy hour. And let’s not forget the Santa Paula Coffee Company in the morning. Delton Lee JohnsonSanta Paula

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