Printed letters, Feb. 3, 2011

As a concerned citizen watching a whole generation of kids enter society with woefully inadequate educations, I took great interest in The Daily Sentinel’s Jan. 30 editorial, “Choosing to Change Public Education.”

I noticed that the author asserted that, “Our system of local control allows for thousands of education laboratories around the country to experiment simultaneously with different educational ideas.” If only this statement were true. Unfortunately, it is not and it does us a disservice by conjuring a false image of the actual functionality of the system.

In reality, Colorado’s Legislature has delegated curriculum choice to district school boards, with certain stipulations from the State Board of Education, which then hands down their choices to the individual school administrations.

This means that among all 40 of District 51’s elementary, middle and high schools, there are no curriculum differences. Does that sound like an incubator of diverse educational opportunity? How about diversity of thought and background? It sounds to me like the same one-size-fits-all system that has created our educational deficit.

The statement regarding “dedicated students with involved parents” having the ability to get a quality education within our broken educational apparatus is correct, but little more than stating the obvious: Good parents can ensure their kids get a good education. This attitude does little to move us out of the swamp of centralized authority that has crushed American economic and social dominance.

DAVID L. COX

Grand Junction

Colorado’s low salaries push officials to moonlight

I’ve read much criticism of Secretary of State Scott Gessler, who revealed his plan to moonlight at his old law firm because his official salary is not adequate to support his family and mother.

Many people have suggested he resign rather than try to avoid any conflicts of interest in the outside job.

Interestingly, subsequent facts reveal that Colorado is the 45th lowest state in pay for secretaries of state. The top state, Tennessee, pays $180,000 a year. In Colorado that $68,500 salary has not been raised in 10 years.

Not only that, but Attorney General John Suthers and Treasurer Walker Stapleton also have outside employment, supplementing their salaries with Suthers’ extra $30,000 a year for teaching, and Stapleton’s consulting earnings bringing him up to $180,000 a year.

Scott Gessler was elected Secretary of State for his excellent qualifications and stated plans to tighten voter registration and ID requirements so that elections are as honest and free of fraud as possible. A young attorney has sacrificed previous income to serve the voters of Colorado. I think the voters who elected him should “trust, but verify” that his promise to avoid conflicts of interest will be carried out.

DARLEEN GSELL

Grand Junction

City’s acts are worrisome regarding private industry

Referring to the Jan. 31, Page 1 article about Rosa Mae Welker:

I am Rosa’s husband’s uncle, and I would like to reveal details of her character:

Rosa is extraordinarily good. My sister, Francis Samora, was blind, age 91, when John and Rosa took her in and cared for her until she died three year later, at age 94.

John and Rosa gave up their bed for her, and Rosa slept on a couch downstairs, while John slept upstairs. Rosa was unable to climb the stairs.

The family lived that way for three years until Francis’ death.

That kind of sacrifice speaks for itself, as to Rosa’s character. I will do all I can to help her, and I will pray for her always.

JOHN E. QUEEN

Cedaredge



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