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Letters to the editor – Monday (11-30-09)

Redistricting and equal access
Redistricting is not the “real” issue facing the Rowan-Salisbury Schools Board of Education. The issue is that all students in Rowan County do not have the same access to a quality education. Standardized achievement measures, such as the high school cohort graduation rate and end-of-course test scores, vary as much as 25 points between high schools in the system. These numbers are a clear indication that the quality of education that a Rowan County student receives does indeed depend on the school the student attends. In good conscience, the school board should be focusing on how to improve all of our student’s access to quality education. They should refocus their efforts on ensuring that all schools are staffed with high quality professional educators, and provided with state-of-the ńart facilities and current equipment for science and computer lab. It is a waste of time, money and energy to focus on redistricting when the “real” problem facing our school system is an inequitable system of educating children.
Incidentally, in 2008-2009 Salisbury High School had a 59.4 cohort graduation rate (the lowest cohort graduation rate in the system). Only six out of 10 freshmen who entered Salisbury High School four years ago graduated with their Senior class. This statistic is part of the “numbers” that Mr. Beard should consider before he publically declares at a board meeting that Salisbury High School “does a better job than any of the other schools at educating at-risk students.”
The data cited in this letter may be accessed at http://www.ncreportcards.org/src/. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction releases this data annually for each school in the system. I urge you to review the academic progress of our students and to let our school board members know of your concerns.
ó Laura Marlow
Salisbury
Tell truth about costs of treaty
A recent article found in the Salisbury Post from the AP stated that “Americans’ day-to-day lives won’t change noticeably …” if President Obama signs the Copenhagen agreement in December, except for rising energy bills. However, this is not an honest assessment of what will happen if we comply with the agreement.
Our modern world runs on energy, and many of the sources are carbon-based fuels. Food prices and the price of all retail goods will rise as a result of increased transportation costs. At a time when our economy is struggling this will only make the problem worse.
Also, according to an article in the New York Times last week, hundreds of emails were hacked from a server at a British university. Some of these emails show that climate scientists are purposely overstating the human influence on climate. “In one e-mail exchange, a scientist writes of using a statistical “trick” in a chart illustrating a recent sharp warming trend.” A scientist from the National Center for Atmospheric Research stated, “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”
Phil Jones of the Climate Research Unit stated that they were not required to comply with Freedom of Information requests. Later he said, “I think I’ll delete the file rather than send it.” They also discussed a scheme to get rid of Hans Von Storch, editor of Climate Research, because he disagreed with their alarmist views.
One of these scientists is Stephen Schneider who before 1978 said that man-made carbon dioxide emissions would cool the earth and push us into another ice age. He admitted in a 1996 paper that scientists sometimes have to use scare tactics and offer up scary scenarios.
ó Joe D. Teeter
Gold Hill
We need affordable solutions
The American people have spoken. They oppose government-run health care by a wide margin.
What Americans want are common-sense, responsible solutions that address the rising cost of health care and other major problems. Moreover, Americans want a stop to the insane modern progressive policies and corruption that are bankrupting America and mortgaging the future of our children and the future generations of our nation. The overwhelming majority of Americans want a plan for common-sense health care reform our nation can afford. No one can deny that virtually every federal government entitlement program is a cesspool of corruption, waste fraud and abuse.
As much as $500 billion just in Medicare and Medicaid alone is being wasted.
ó James Seagle
King
Salisbury’s win overshadowed
I always enjoy looking at the sports page on Saturday to read the results and look at the pictures of the county football games. However, I must say I was a little disappointed by the sports section of the paper this Saturday morning. As a Salisbury High student, I find it somewhat unfair that our football team’s win was so overshadowed by the West Rowan game. Since both teams have reached the same point in the semifinals, it seems to me that Salisbury deserved a slightly larger portion of the front of the sports section.
ó Quinn Scarvey
Salisbury

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