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Letters to the editor – Sunday (5-18-14)

Unite against intolerance
We should be ashamed. Where is the outspoken support for our friends and neighbors — those who volunteer, support the arts, enrich our lives and make Salisbury a special place?
Why have we not heard a public outcry against intolerance that should have been buried decades ago? Intolerance that forced the likes of Alan Turing (mathematician, inventor of the computer, the genius who solved the Nazi Enigma code) to commit suicide rather than suffer public humiliation. Who knows how many symphonies and ballets we could have enjoyed had Tchaikovsky lived in a tolerant society. Salisbury cannot afford such intolerance. We have such a wealth of talent, we must not limit creativity in any way.
Mayor Woodson is wrong. Salisbury is better than this. Just to be crass, even financially it is not in our best interest to be seen as a closed community. We cannot allow Salisbury to be seen as intolerant and provincial by companies seeking to relocate.
We should be seen as a community that welcomes diversity in all its refining forms. We should embrace and celebrate our LGBT community and all they do to enhance our lives. In truth, rainbow banners should probably be unfurled on the four corners of the square to celebrate Salisbury’s openness on Gay Pride Day, June 21st.
Join with me by writing to the Post and to Mayor Woodson in support of all our friends and neighbors.
— Dr. Dennis L Hill
Salisbury

Schools not ready
The $12 million 1:1 technology plan that is key to the new Rowan-Salisbury School Strategic Plan sounds good, but it is not a proven strategy for improving student learning. A quick Google search will provide numerous articles from educational journals. The research shows that an effective 1:1 program requires extensive teacher staff development. One resource suggested that teachers should be trained in digital instruction for at least one year before the program begins.
When Dr. Moody presented the strategic plan at the Community Forum, she stated that she did not have the money to pay eight teachers to attend staff development over the summer. Without well trained teachers, the iPads and computers could become very expensive typewriters or worse. They could easily become a distraction and safety issue.
With only 22.7 percent of our third- through eighth-graders proficient on both reading and math EOG standardized tests, can RSS afford to be trailblazer in the classroom digital conversion approach to learning? If 1:1 is the answer, why is the Mooresville Graded School System the only system in North Carolina that has the 1:1 approach? The Las Angeles County Schools did a 1:1 roll out in September 2013. It was called “a colossal disaster.”
At the forum, Dr. Moody stated her concerns about RSS losing students. She indicated that placing an iPad or computer in every student’s hands would slow the loss of students and possibly bring students back to RSS. That is a very weak reason for spending $12 million. There are a number of reasons why RSS has lost students. The primary one is that parents are placing their children in private schools which have high quality instruction. An iPad is not going to lure these parents back to the public schools.
Technology is important and it needs to be an important part of student instruction. However, with test scores that are significantly below the state average, I do not believe that this is the time for RSS to jump into a digital conversion.
— Karen C Lilly-Bowyer
Salisbury

Thanks, Novant
To those that do not know of it yet, Novant has given its patients a great tool to keep track of and maintain their heath. It is called My Chart. It is where you go online and can see your medical history, test results and prescriptions. You can also email your doctor, request refills and see your test results. It also makes it easier for other doctors to see what problems you may be having and also what you may be allergic to. This is a great tool free of charge. Thank you, Novant.
— Richard Morgan
Salisbury

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