Printed letters, June 3, 2010

Budget woes won’t cut math, reading curricula

The Board of Education, administration and staff of District 51 have been working to overcome the challenges posed by decreasing revenues and shrinking resources.

This commitment was demonstrated through a long and collaborative effort that yielded a balanced budget focused on our mission of educating students in our community. Our objective will always be to allocate resources in a way that allows us to provide the best education possible for our students.

Much of what The Daily Sentinel stated about our economic challenges in its recent editorial is true. However, the reference to delaying the adoption of the math and reading curriculum is incorrect. In fact, in anticipation of the possible state reductions, the Board of Education took the necessary steps last year to purchase materials and begin implementation earlier than was originally planned.

The reduction referred to in the editorial will not deprive students of the materials needed for the currently adopted curriculum in any content area. The district will continue planning for future curriculum updates that will align with the newly approved state content standards. As these plans are completed in future budget cycles, the board will strive to take the steps necessary to support their implementation.

I appreciate the patience of our parents, staff and community as we have worked through the process to develop the budget proposal presented to the board last week. Though the financial picture for funding K-12 education is uncertain, we are committed to working with staff and our community to provide the best possible education for all students with the resources we have.

STEVEN D. SCHULTZ

Superintendent of Schools

Mesa CountyValley School District 51

Grand Junction

Gravel trucks will disrupt Orchard Mesa neighborhood

Vicki Felmlee’s letter published May 25, “Orchard Mesa neighborhood is being sacrificed for gravel,” is right on the money, except for one item.

It is 150 loaded trucks, 300 trucks total in that 12-hour period. That is going to be a truck past my house about every 2.4 seconds. My neighborhood is being forced to sacrifice our peace, quiet, children’s safety, air quality and property values, all for one company’s profit.

CARROL ZEHNER

Grand Junction

Petition asks that hypothesis be presented for what it is

In the editorial from May 26 titled “District 51 shouldn’t warm to this idea,” The Daily Sentinel offers a complete misrepresentation of the petition in question. As the petition’s author, Rose Pugliese, has stated in several interviews, and as the wording on the petition itself states, the idea is not to remove teaching of any science, but to remove the politics from it, which the writer of the editorial ostensibly agrees with.

The petition simply calls for facts to be presented as facts, and hypotheses and opinions, in turn, to be presented as such. It also asks that opposing hypotheses, equally supported by evidence and the application of scientific method, be presented as well; something that would be done anyway, had not a political dimension already been attached to the subject.

It would be disturbing to think that The Daily Sentinel would believe that it is “noxious to have one group of citizens attempt to dictate what may be taught in science classes in the district, based on what they think is politically appropriate,” only to have the Sentinel bestow that privilege on another group of its choosing.

I, for one, choose to believe that this is not the Sentinel’s true position. This suggests, however, something nearly as distressing; that the writer was negligent in doing his due diligence in terms of discerning what the aims of the petition actually were.

Such sloppy research may pass muster among the climatologists at East Anglia, but I hope The Daily Sentinel would hold itself to a higher standard, one to which we are all accustomed.

KELLY SLOAN

Grand Junction



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