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Letters to the editor – Wednesday (4-13-2011)

Students already studying nationís founding principles
In response to the Founding Principles Act, co-sponsored by Rowan Reps. Harry Warren and Fred Steen, I would like to inform the public and our lawmakers that it is mandatory that every student in this state takes civics and economics and U.S. history. In Rowan County, except for Salisbury High School, every student takes civics and economics in the 10th grade and U.S. history in the 11th. Students study the rights, responsibilities and duties of citizens, the formation and organization of our government, the principles and specifics of the Constitution and the branches of government, the settlement of America, the principles underlying American domestic and foreign policy over time, and the foundations of the U.S. economic system and how it differs from other countries.
In short, civics and economics and U.S. history already teach the material included in the Founding Principles Act. Both courses currently have a mandatory state test at the end, but those tests will be dropped next year due to budget cuts. Passage of these assessments was mandatory until the North Carolina Department of Instruction made it possible for students to be waived if not proficient.
I would also like to inform these representatives that it is their job to do thorough research before legislating. Call a teacher, ask students about their classes, look at a textbook or reference the North Carolina Standard Course of Study that outlines the curriculum before making decisions concerning education.
One of the most detrimental issues facing education, and there are many, is ignorant legislation created by uninformed lawmakers placing redundant and unfunded demands on local school systems. Ignorant legislation also denigrates teachers and students by not recognizing the work they already perform.
Please, before drafting or endorsing future legislation, do your research, speak with those in the field and make informed decisions instead of co-sponsoring ignorant legislation to placate uninformed blocks of your political base.
ó Lauren Raper
Spencer
Raper teaches civics and economics and history at East Rowan High.
Water heater savings
Recently AARP magazine stated that 20 percent of electric bills comes from use of the electric water heater. Since the electric water heater consumes 20 percent of the electric bill, I cut my water heater off for extended periods of time. I normally run it for about three hours every other day; the temperature is set on 120 degrees, plus I have a cover jacket wrapped on the heater to keep it insulated.
The results from my last electric bill showed 707 units (kWh) used. The previous bill was 1,523 units used. I live alone and now save money as a result of my change in habits.
Locate the water-heater switch on the breaker box and begin a new routine in your life.
ó Ed Moose
Albemarle
Dumped cats find rescuer
I wish to ěthankî the person or persons who committed the cowardly act of dropping off a mother cat and kittens on April 10 near the parking lot of the Salisbury Recreation Center adjacent to City Park.
I am sure you thought they would run into the park; however, they took up residence under my shed. I will let you know they are safe at this point, as if you may care.
Now, I am left to do what you did not have the dignity to do; find someone to take these abandoned cats that once were your pets. Please, never take in pets again. If anyone would like to adopt this cat or her kittens, my phone number is in the book.
ó Blaine Gorney
Salisbury

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