Printed letters, July 20, 2011
The article in the July 16 edition of The Daily Sentinel, about changing the curriculum, particularly moving the teaching of fractions to fourth grade, raised some questions in my mind.
As a retired math teacher, I’m wondering what is going to be accomplished in presenting concepts at an even earlier age? Many students do not show mastery of these concepts in middle school or in high school, as demonstrated by the low standardized math test scores and the numbers of developmental (remedial) math courses that are required because so many high school graduates are not proficient in basic math and thus are unable to take a college math course.
There is a certain level of maturity and number sense that students need before new concepts can be understood and mastered. Students may go through the motions of learning the numerical machinations at an earlier rate. However, their lack of mastery of mathematical concepts is blatantly obvious at the middle school and high school levels.
There is no substitute for building a solid knowledge base whereupon more difficult concepts may be added, understood and mastered. This is a process requiring time, maturity and lots of practice. Ability grouping allows for the differences in maturity and acquisition of knowledge and allows students to maximize their potential.
PHYLLIS HUNSINGER Grand Junction
Airport makes it tough for Arizona aviator
My only occupation has been in aviation. I went to work at Walker Field for Wegner Aircraft in 1960. When Monarch Aviation bought out Wegner Aircraft in 1974, I managed the shop until 1984. I am now semi-retired and reside in an airpark in Arizona. My main transportation is still my aircraft.
I recently had business in Grand Junction and flew up on July 1. I had business over at Steve Bottom’s radio shop, which is at Tri-Star Avionics. I was able to leave my aircraft at his shop on a tie-down.
That Sunday morning at 6 a.m., a friend dropped me off at West Star Aviation. I asked at the front desk if they would escort me to my aircraft. I was informed that TSA rules would not let them do that and that I would not have access to the ramp area. I got a number for the airport TSA, but could not get anything except a recording.
I have always understood that airports are for pilots, aircraft and airport business. But denying me access to my aircraft so I could fly home seems definitely to be an infringement on my rights and freedom.
I also understand that Tri-Star Avionics and Dana Brewer’s aircraft show are being fenced to where their customers cannot get to their businesses without great difficulty.
At this time, general and corporate aviation are struggling, as are many other businesses. A few more restrictive rules and regulations will finally put the last nail in the lid of the aviation coffin.
I think the terrorists have already won. The freedoms that have been taken from us honest, productive people have about brought us to a halt.
I hope the leaders and rule makers are wise enough in the future to at least have provisions so the users of airports can operate.
RUSSELL D. PEARCE
‘Fortunate people’ benefit from wealth builders
Democrats keep talking about “those fortunate people,” referring to those who have taken great risks, worked extremely hard and prospered in this very difficult economic environment. I believe we should redefine “those fortunate people” as those who benefit from the wealth created by these entrepreneurs, whose wealth is taxed away and redistributed to others by government.
Why is it when 1 percent of all taxpayers currently pay over 40 percent of all income taxes, that is insufficient income redistribution?
Reality is that there is no longer a political middle ground. You are either on the right or the left, an advocate for limited government or massive government programs, for liberty or government tyranny. And, you are either a proponent of self-reliance or one who expects cradle-to-grave government dependency.
The federal government publishes an average of 6,800 pages of new rules and regulations each and every month, proving the natural self-sustainability of government bureaucracies.
This trend must be reversed. Sharply reduce regulations, lower taxes, get the government out of the way and our economy will expand like wildfire.
Amity Shlaes, in her epic thesis on the economic failures of the 1930s, “The Forgotten Man,” defines him as belonging to that portion of our population that continued to work, struggle and support the economy, not those to whom these earnings were redistributed to by government.
Today that “Forgotten Man,” in spite of stifling liberal government economic policies and regulations, continues to succeed and support “those fortunate people” who are either unable or unwilling to support themselves.
The “Forgotten Man” should be rewarded and praised for his contribution to the economy, not demonized and punished by additional taxes. These entrepreneurs create wealth and jobs; government creates nothing and inefficiently redistributes the wealth already created by others.