Letters to the Editor

April 24, 2012

Letters to the editor on repairing Spirit, job discrimination, KPI, caring friends, motorcycle rides

I want to thank the facilities workers at Spirit AeroSystems for the phenomenal job they did reducing a nightmare into just a bad problem. They went above and beyond the call of duty.

Workers did great job repairing Spirit

I want to thank the facilities workers at Spirit AeroSystems for the phenomenal job they did reducing a nightmare into just a bad problem. They went above and beyond the call of duty.

They did everything they could not only for the Spirit employees but for Wichita and surrounding areas, too. This is not an overstatement, as we owe them a debt of gratitude for their efforts.

People were thinking it could be devastating to our business and economy. But facilities workers, along with management, did the unbelievable in this turnaround.

We use the word “team” all the time at Spirit. This was the example of ultimate teamwork.



Sidestepping law

Many employers and pre-employment screening agencies are to the point of corruption when they sidestep the law and ask discriminatory questions. Aren’t they aware that blanket no-hire policies are illegal? Whatever happened to considering job applicants based on their merits?



Honest discussion

I found it ironic that The Eagle editorial board labeled the Kansas Policy Institute’s K-12 education newspaper ads as “misleading” when the same editorial stated that state per-pupil base aid had been “slashed” to 1999 levels (“Chappell invited rebuke,” April 19 Eagle Editorial).

Base state aid per pupil is but one part of the state investment in our public schools. When looking at total state aid, the estimated 2011-12 amount is more than a billion dollars above the 1999 level. Adding in local and federal aid, estimated expenditures for Kansas are at an all-time high.

The editorial pointed out that “thousands of professionals across the state are dedicated to helping Kansas schoolchildren.” I agree, but would point out that Kansas taxpayers deserve an honest discussion regarding how their tax dollars are being spent. This discussion should be welcomed with open arms.

KPI has repeatedly invited the Kansas State Department of Education and Wichita school officials to take part in a public forum. To date, the invitations have been rejected. Perhaps The Eagle editorial board will encourage school officials to reconsider, but I won’t hold my breath.


Kansas state director

Americans for Prosperity


About taxes, unions

The Kansas Policy Institute’s ad in the Sunday Eagle asked us to take the word of the ad’s author against the word of education professionals about student testing. As a teacher of 30 years’ experience, I would trust those people who are on the front lines of education rather than someone who has never taught.

The ad touted charter schools. Yet studies show that charter school students do no better than other students. The ad also supported merit pay for teachers whose students show improvement. This sounds fine in theory. In practice, it’s impossible to judge a teacher on this one standard. Each student has specific needs and learning styles. Teachers have to deal with students as they are, not as if they were identical parts in a standardized product.

As for professionals from other fields being teachers: That’s fine if they get the training to deal with children. Teachers teach more than subject matter. As much as an engineer might be capable of teaching math, an engineer is unlikely to be able to cope with actual students in the math classroom.

This ad seemed to be less about good education than about taxes and busting unions.



Caring friends

I continue to be amazed at the difference one person can make. One woman wanted to help her friend begin the healing process. These two young women planned and executed a walk to raise the awareness of shaken baby syndrome. There was not a tremendous crowd – maybe 20 people. There was no TV coverage, no newspaper coverage – just caring friends. When those young mothers, pushing their strollers, walked down 21st Street near Ridge with their 48 blue balloons and posters, people did notice. They released balloons in memory of the little one. Well done, girls.



Publicize rides

I have spent more than a few summers riding my motorcycle in charity rides. Many organizers have asked how they can make their event better or attract more riders. My one suggestion: Advertise it better.

There are several websites that are clearinghouses dedicated to motorcycle events. The Eagle’s website has an events calendar, and there is a calendar published every Saturday on The Eagle’s Wichita on Wheels page. Yet rarely do I see motorcycle events listed in the newspaper or on the sites I frequent.

Do a search of “motorcycle event Kansas” or “motorcycle event Wichita Ks,” and you will find websites that would gladly publish event information. Some sites will publish bike nights for local businesses as well as poker runs and charity rides.

So please publish, publish, publish. It will give those of us who don’t live in Wichita and don’t frequent the places you normally pin up your posters the opportunity to join your ride.

God bless, and keep the rubber side down.



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