Letters to the editor for Thursday, March 13, 2014
Why is Carson Valley school highly rated? Accountability
How to make sure we stay lower in ranking public education scores:
1. Pass a law so we don’t have to comply (like all other states) in the “No Child Left Behind” program.
2. Accept excuses from local and state superintendents as to why our scores are so low and give them a superior performance rating to boot.
3. Make it easier for students to pass a math proficiency test that’s required for graduation.
4. Get every Carson public education student a laptop when they have not mastered the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. (When the inevitable happens and a third grader loses his laptop, who pays for a new one? Does the teacher have to teach from the text as well as the laptops to make sure students who have mishandled their laptop stay current with the class?)
Carson Valley Middle School has the only five star rating for a middle school in five of the nearest counties. Ever thought of dropping by that school and finding our their secret? I am sure it would be free of charge. But I will tell you how this middle school holds such high rankings: They hold the parents and students accountable for their actions and grades. What a concept.
Bullis should stick to money, not politics
I appreciate the financial advice normally offered by Mr. Bullis, but perhaps he should stay out of political opinion. I have two issues with his column regarding the minimum wage.
While all can agree that both wages and the consumer price index have risen, the correlation is not very good. Twice we have had nine-year periods when the minimum wage was not raised at all — from 1981 to 1989 minimum wage remained at $3.35, while the Consumer Price Index increased 36 percent (from 90.9 to 124). Again from 1997 to 2006, wages remained fixed at $5.15, while the CPI increased 25.6 percent. I would pose the assumption then, that wage stagnation does not limit inflation over time.
The second is really a question for the restaurant owner he cited: How many of your 275 employees received wages that put them above poverty level? Although I cannot know the answer to this, I suspect it wasn’t many.
Obamacare, while not perfect, has received very unjustified blame for job cuts. I was in retail for 20 years, during the 1980s and 1990s, and most low-wage jobs were skewed to keep people part-time, in order to avoid having to offer any benefits. Long before the Affordable Care Act, Walmart and other retailers (and, in fact, all the “service industries”) had a hugely weighted proportion of part-time help. Then, as now, corporations are interested mainly in their bottom line, not in the welfare of their workers.