Printed letters, April 28, 2010

SB 191 will deny teachers due process

In the April 25 edition of The Daily Sentinel, the controversial Senate Bill 191 dealing with teacher tenure was highlighted. Tenure no longer exists in Colorado; it is actually only having the right to a due process hearing.

Currently, teachers in their first, second and third years are evaluated yearly. At the end of each of these years, they can be terminated without reason. Once a teacher is rehired for their fourth consecutive year in a school district, they have earned due process. They can be dismissed at the end of the year, but are guaranteed a due process hearing first. Under SB 191, a teacher could lose the right to a hearing after many years of teaching.

Currently, not all subjects are tested, so using testing scores to evaluate all teachers doesn’t work. New standards have been adopted, but no tests currently exist that deal with them. Requiring principals to evaluate all staff members each year isn’t realistic. Some schools have more than 100 staff members. What will principals give up in order to meet this requirement in the law?

SB191 as introduced was 20 pages long. I wonder how many folks who have given support to it have actually read it and also spent time in schools/classrooms (this year) to understand the reality of today’s schools.

Please go to http://www.leg.state.co.us and link out to Senate Bill 191. After reading it, you too may wonder how it will be funded, how do you use tests scores for only some teachers while other teachers face a single administrator (principal) being able to single-handedly terminate an educator’s future? Will this bill actually benefit our children/community?

In my opinion, this bill does not bring about the change that both community members and educators want for their schools.

LINDA REEVES

Grand Junction

West Slope could produce compressed natural gas

Honda announced Oklahoma would become the fourth regional market to offer the Honda GX, compressed-natural-gas vehicle. Oklahoma follows Utah, California and New York. These states were selected due to the best refueling infrastructure combined with expressed plans for expansion of their respective CNG refueling networks.

The West Slope Colorado Oil & Gas Association is committed to working in western Colorado to move our region up on the list of desirable states for CNG vehicle offerings. Our organization, in light of Honda’s announcement, encourages The Daily Sentinel readers to contact local officials in western Colorado and thank them for their recent work in making CNG an option for consumers in Western Colorado.

Cleaner air, domestic fuel and the ability to fill up the tank at home may one day be a reality not just in neighboring Utah, but in Western Colorado too.

DAVID LUDLAM

Grand Junction

Birth certificate could help prove citizenship

The last time I left my house, I carried with me the following documents because the law says I should carry them at all times:

Colorado drivers license;

Colorado registration for the vehicle;

Proof of insurance in Colorado;

Colorado concealed carry permit;

Medicare card or medical insurance card.

If it will help the illegal immigration problems in this country, I will gladly carry my birth certificate, too.

One more piece of paper is not going to make that much difference. And this way no one can get upset when a representative of the law asks a person to prove their citizenship because everyone will have to prove they belong here.

DUSTY HOLMAN

Palisade



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