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Mail and Commentary February 23, 2011

Educational Poetry

Well, being as collective bargaining has had its day, read Horatio Alger is what they'll say. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and don't forget to pray and maybe things will get better some day. Doesn't that crap make you want to give 'em the boot? Doesn't that sound like it came straight from Newt? Or could it be Limbaugh, Hannity or Beck, or maybe the Graham boys, what the heck? Phil or Lindsey could fit the bill along with 90 percent of the people on Capitol Hill. If we're talking about things that need to be fixed, big Pharma and Wall Street are sure in the mix, along with a justice system that's got itself in a bind with honest judges so hard to find. So many judges are elected these days and that compromises the system in so many ways. With "Citizen United" thrown in the mix, unlimited money can do so many tricks. It doesn't take a genius to see the connections of how this affects so many elections. And also it comes as no surprise how everything became so corporatized, the media, the courts, and the government you see, it all adds up to a corporatocracy.

--Ron Allen, Caldwell

Education vs. the Biz of Education

I am deeply troubled by Tom Luna's proposed education reform bill. It is tragic to me that Idaho teachers and students will suffer because of party line voting. Luna's plan is a short-sighted budget proposal that will negatively impact the future of Idaho. While Luna and other politicos spend their time ingratiating themselves to businesses, they are ignoring a constituency that is clamoring to be heard. Idaho students and teachers should not have to "pay the price" for political wrangling. Providing a quality education is one of the most important services a state can provide. If Idaho politicians don't want to pay for education now, they will pay with an uneducated workforce later. Education should be about children, not about politics or business as usual.

--Kristin Fehrer, Boise

Superintendent Tom Luna is striving for a "customer-driven" education system. Sounds like Walmart to me.

While gutting the Idaho education system, Luna has sketchy educational credentials. His bio states "attended" Ricks College, "attended" Boise State, "later" graduated from Thomas Edison State College, a New Jersey college for "adult students" giving credit for "work experience," etc. No major revealed.

Businessman Luna, for "25-plus years," was appointed to a number of "patronage" jobs, none requiring any degree for that matter, as is common with "patronage" jobs ... only loyalty to a political party.

Loyalty to political party does not impart insight necessary to run a school system with enlightenment, nor does "customer-driven" education system pertain to schooling of children. It would pertain to running a logging company or big-box store. Children are not consumer items on a shelf to shuffle around to make the store look good superficially.

The superintendent's position should be filled by a standard job application for such a position including credentials pertaining to education, a Ph.D. would be appropriate, previous work experience pertaining to education and interviews by those in charge of such hiring. Election by politically motivated parties has no place in running a school system.

--Yvette Sedlewicz, Boise

This Week on Boise Weekly's Facebook Page

About last week's Tea Party rally featuring Grover Norquist:

The "Right" gets its way 'round these parts because the Idaho Democratic Party (which constitutes the "left" in Idaho politics) is meek, ineffectual and allows the "right" to define it. Good people though they certainly are, the leaders of the Idaho Democratic Party are letting their state down. As a regular heckler who has stood toe-to-toe with some nigh rabid right wing bullies (I suppose I understand why most counter protesters stand across the street) at these Tea Party/Idaho Freedom Foundation rallies, I am comfortable that my personal experiences allow me to make that assessment.

C'est en faisant n'importe quoi qu'on devient n'importe qui.

--Michael Murphy

And about Idaho Reps. Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador voting for a budget plan that cuts $60 billion in funding from public broadcasting, Planned Parenthood and the EPA:

Here's an idea, how about cutting our military budget by say 1 percent. We outspend the world's top five richest countries' military budgets--combined. Our military is over the top. If it was managed like a business, the shareholders would have sold their stock long ago.

--Perry Lea

Maybe ... just maybe ... we should accept that if we want a balanced budget, we have to make cuts "across the board."

--Sandy Tracy