Ads paint biased picture of schools
Advertisements paid for by the Kansas Policy Institute have been appearing in newspapers all over the state. One ad painted the rather biased picture that large numbers of students attending the Andover school district are not performing well on state assessments.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Andover schools have a long and proud history of success.
Every year students come to Andover from a variety of circumstances with ever-increasing learning needs. Our teachers don’t make excuses, but work tirelessly to ensure that these students make real academic growth and reach their full potential. And this happens even though per-pupil funding has decreased, class size has increased, and more classroom supplies are purchased out of pocket by teachers.
The KPI ads use 11th-grade reading and math scores of “exceeds standard” and “exemplary” to imply that all other students in the 11th grade are somehow failing. Not so. In fact, when the students who meet the standard set by the state are included, 94 percent of Andover 11th-graders meet or exceed standards in reading and 87 percent do so in math.
Are we working to help more students perform at the levels of “exceeds standard” and “exemplary”? We absolutely are. But let’s be fair and look at the whole picture of student achievement.
I was one of the dentists who volunteered, alongside dental hygienists, dental assistants and many others, at Saturday’s “Give Kids a Smile Day.” It was a wonderful experience that helped about 175 kids with $100,000 worth of dental needs.
I was eager to see the event coverage in The Eagle but was disappointed that the article started with the experience of an adult, the mother-in-law of the CEO of Kansas Health Foundation, followed by information about the scarcity of care and the “crisis in oral health in Kansas” (March 11 Local & State).
I applaud the preventive and awareness efforts of the foundation but detest the misguided use of data to ultimately change dental-care delivery for Kansans. The counties that have no dentists also have no Walmarts or other amenities. Some have no veterinarians, even though they have more livestock than people. Most residents live within a 30-minute drive of a dentist.
Education and delivery of dental care are expensive but can be made affordable. There is no shortage of dentists or access to care, but there is a shortage of dollars. Three or four dentists would solve the dental “desert” areas, and new incentives have been proposed to attract and fulfill the needs of rural areas.
The smiles of the kids and the appreciation of the parents were plenty of recognition for the volunteers at Saturday’s event, but not once did the article mention the event by name or the efforts of the people.
ANTOINE E. WAKIM
Read before voting
I’m trying hard to understand the outrage against state Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, by many state representatives (March 7 Local & State). I’m surprised there isn’t a healthy dose of embarrassment on the part of these legislators at being shown neglecting their duties.
The complaint is that Ward misled these legislators. The legislation in question was available for review before it was voted on. If a representative has not read the legislation that comes before him, how is his wrong vote anyone else’s responsibility?
Kansas statute 54-106 contains the oath of office for every state officeholder. It reads, “I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Kansas, and faithfully discharge the duties of (Kansas state representative), so help me God.”
How does one know if legislation upholds either constitution if one doesn’t read it before voting? Reading is one of the duties of the office. I’d like the names of those legislators who voted for Ward’s bill and are now crying foul. I think their dereliction of duty is important information every Kansan is entitled to before the next election.
I got highly discouraged reading “Government-subsidized green lightbulb isn’t selling cheap,” regarding expensive LED lightbulbs (March 10 Eagle). Fifty-dollar lightbulbs? Really?
As a teenager, I find the thought of maintaining a home with $50 lightbulbs a bit frightening. Are these lightbulbs affordable for American families? Even with the proposed rebates, Americans would spend hundreds of dollars to replace incandescent lightbulbs in their homes with LED lightbulbs.
Furthermore, the government gave the manufacturer of these “green” bulbs a $10 million prize. Maybe the government should have given the $10 million to the U.S. citizens so that we can buy these lightbulbs. Another stimulus plan?
I am all for reducing, reusing and recycling, but paying $50 per lightbulb does not seem efficient or affordable to me.
ARIANNA DE JONG
I heard a local TV sports department give the Friends University women’s basketball score from the tournament in Sioux City, Iowa. I didn’t know it knew that Friends was in Wichita.