Students are more than products, units
I have some education efficiency tips for Gov. Sam Brownback and his staff.
Don’t look at public education as making parts for a machine. Look at students as something more than products or outcomes or test takers. Realize that schools are unique places; nowhere else is there such a collection of humans of the same ages and with so many different interests.
Humans who are allowed and encouraged to think and be curious, and who are healthy, will be happy humans. They will be resilient. It will be difficult for these happy individuals not to be creative or kind. These folks will be able to solve problems and talk to one another, even if they don’t get their way.
We will not achieve such world-altering change by eliminating art and gutting school libraries, and shortening physical education. Smaller classes, especially in elementary school, are essential to producing happy humans. Solving problems depends on motivation, willingness and knowing what the problem really is. If, on reflection, Brownback and his staff realize that they must go beyond the statements of tipsters, administrators and the “received wisdom” of partisan politics to find their way, they can begin to actually be efficient, even wise. We can hope.
Romney to blame
Republicans are scratching our heads, wondering how we lost. Almost every issue favored us. The only thing we needed to win was a good, solid candidate.
We didn’t have that; we had Mitt Romney. President Obama’s only strategy was to demonize Romney as unfit for office. He succeeded because he had help from Romney. The former Massachusetts governor flip-flopped on nearly every social and political issue, adopting beliefs that were popular with the voters he tried to win over and then, when courting a new set of voters, changing the beliefs. Romney decided to agree with Obama during two-thirds of the last debate, and he failed to mention Benghazi. He also didn’t give any details of his own economic plan.
The sad thing is, this isn’t the first time we have picked a moderate, and the results are often the same. Romney lost, as did moderate John McCain, Bob Dole and George H.W. Bush in 1992. Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were conservatives who won even though conservatives were supposedly “too radical for the mainstream.”
We need to let go of the idea of selling out our principles to win over moderates; all it gave us was a loser like Romney. From now on, we should ask “Who represents our ideals?” first and “Who can win?” second. We should exclude anyone who is a moderate, flip-flopper or smear-monger – in other words, anyone who reminds us of Romney.
The Republican Party is facing a new reality after President Obama’s re-election – that a more liberal-to-moderate voting base has emerged, challenging the accepted belief that only conservatives can win.
In Senate races, the Democrats pushed home their theme that the GOP is anti-woman by running ads quoting remarks by Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., and Indiana tea party candidate Richard Mourdock about rape and pregnancy. The day after Obama’s landslide victory, talk-show host Rush Limbaugh was asking whether the GOP is expected to change its positions on immigration and abortion.
When you have to ask questions like that with no answer, then your party has a big problem.
I continue to be amazed that modern-day citizens are so quick to undo what our Founding Fathers so brilliantly created back at the start of our great nation (“No Electoral College,” Nov. 9 Letters to the Editor).
Our Founding Fathers realized early on that a democracy is merely a tyranny of the majority (even if only by one vote) over the minority. They also understood that small states with few voters would be completely overlooked by the most populous states, which would then dominate the outcomes of national elections.
We were founded as a democratic and constitutional republic (we elect representatives to send to Washington, D.C.). Let’s stop trying to rewrite history and get our facts straight.
We should all take a close look at what Hurricane Sandy did to the East Coast, then ask the simple question: Are we sure that we want to continue to cut federal programs to the bone, or to privatize them?
PHILIP H. SCHNEIDER
We lost a fine state legislator in last week’s election. We have known Rep. Geraldine Flaharty, D-Wichita, for many years and know her dedication to doing a good job for the people she represented. Our state will be missing a voice of reason.
We hope that the campaign trash put out by the Kansas Republican Party wasn’t the cause for the loss. The election has proved again how disgusting politics can be.
KEN and JOYCE MILLER