Letters to the editor for Tuesday, March 17, 2015
AB303 is good for the education system
March 13 was a great day for those of us opposed to the Common Core State Standards. AB303 was read for the first time and referred to the Committee on Education (the beginning of the adoption process).
AB303 proposes to abolish the Common Core State Standards and set up a Council to Establish Academic Standards. This council would review standards and present its determination to the State Board of Education for adoption.
Common Core does not set high standards; rather, it “dumbs down” standards. Massachusetts (for example) has standards that are recognized as among the best in the nation (although Boston is having problems).
Printed copies of the standards are available at a nominal cost, copies from the Internet are even cheaper. You may read the details on AB303 at http://www.leg.state.nv.us. The details are under the “NELIS” tab. Comments on the bill may be made under the “Share Your Opinion” tab. Assemblypersons and senators do review your comments. Please also share your thoughts with the governor, who strongly supports Common Core, at http://gov.nv.gov.
Yes on AB303. Bring greater standards at less expensive cost to the state. Common Core is costing the state and our districts much too much and cannot be changed (the standards are copyrighted, and adoption by any state means adopting them whole).
David W. Carter
More on public land ownership
Regarding Jim Falk’s letter about the move to transfer Nevada’s public land to state ownership, he would do well to review his history of Nevada and stop passing off poor coincidence as fact.
Nevada’s land ownership pattern is a result of the Homestead Act — settlers grabbed water and land that had any chance of being farmed. The federal government tried to pass the remaining desert lands into private ownership with little success. FLPMA, passed in 1976, ensured that these lands remained in public ownership for all to enjoy.
Sage grouse need meadows to raise their young, so, yes, they are drawn to private lands because that’s where the meadows are. Mr. Falk states that “desert tortoise love cattle” because they use “manure for nutrition and hydration.” The cattle have simply removed the tortoise’s native vegetation, which it relied on for nutrition and water in Southern Nevada’s sparse desert. These creatures survived well before cattle arrived, but suffer now due to loss of habitat.
Ranchers did not “manage the land quite well before the federal agent.” Fact: the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 established the Taylor Grazing Service at the request of the ranchers because the land was being severely overgrazed and they wanted regulations. (The Grazing Service eventually morphed into the BLM.)
The state of Nevada was given two sections per township as part of statehood for funding for schools. Find Guy Rocha’s article elsewhere explaining what Nevada did with its sections — it’s enlightening if you think the state can do a better job of management.
Andrea J. Minor