Punishing readers is wrong approach
“More school meddling” (April 11 Eagle Editorial) gave an informed and insightful look at the need for legislators to know the issues before jumping into legislation that could affect the future of so many young Kansans.
The thought of retention for first-graders who have not met reading expectations is outrageous. The best way to produce nonreaders is to punish them for something they are not yet developmentally ready to do. For most children, learning to read is a process that, given appropriate early childhood pre-reading experiences, will unfold in its own time. For the child who acquires pre-reading skills from trained teachers in encouraging, positive classrooms, reading becomes a wonderful, empowering experience that lasts a lifetime.
How can we make this happen? By investing in early childhood education. The time is now.
Failing to learn
A letter writer warned that “repeating grades is antithetical to loving reading” (“Be cautious on reading reform,” April 7 Eagle). But how can some students love to read if they fail to learn to read?
Too many students graduate from high school without high school level skills in reading, writing and mathematics. It is unfair to society and, especially, the students to turn them out into a competitive world without these basic skills. Such students will bear a handicap throughout life.
I propose that students who have reached graduation without attaining these skills be granted a provisional diploma until such time as the deficiencies are corrected.
DAVID J. GUDEMAN
As I read the letter by Vicki Saporta, president and CEO of the National Abortion Federation (“Omnibus attack,” April 12 Letters to the Editor), I agreed with so much of it.
Saporta wrote that “it is despicable that legislators would require that physicians give women incorrect medical information.” I couldn’t agree more. Since the Hippocratic oath was written more than two millennia ago, the medical profession has had a humanitarian focus on saving lives, and false information would be an obvious violation of that.
Saporta also wrote that women “deserve the facts about their health care.” So true.
Despite our agreement, Saporta and I have come to different conclusions. Given the decades of evidence through studies (as early as 1957) that there very well could be a link between breast cancer and abortion, I believe women can (and should) be trusted with this information. Saporta, however, feels that doctors shouldn’t be required to provide information about this potential risk.
These medical studies may not be conclusive, but they provide reasonable information that a woman considering abortion should know. As a woman, I want to always know the facts before I make any kind of health care decision. I would rather know about potential risks that are later found to be unproved than be kept in the dark about possible complications that eventually catch up to me.
It’s not about an “extreme social agenda.” It’s about saving lives, as doctors have been doing for hundreds of years.
Gun control needed
I believe strongly that average citizens should work hard for gun control.
I have called my congressman, Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, more than once. I have never talked to him but to a woman in his office. She says that he is very strongly for the Second Amendment, and that is all she will say.
The Second Amendment is very short and says mainly that a militia is necessary for the security of a free state and therefore the people should have arms. The amendment was adopted in December 1791, before we had much of a federal government or an army, a navy, an air force or any of the multibillion-dollar Pentagon and its apparatus. We were a very small country at that time, just having broken away from the largest empire in the world. Therefore, some citizens might have needed guns at that time. But not now.
We certainly do not need assault weapons, except in the army. We do not need immensely large rounds of ammunition for those guns. We do need honest background checks to locate probable shooters. We do need to regulate what is sold at gun shows.
And we need everyone to tell Congress what it should do. The life you save could be your own.
MARGARET J. MILLER
Kansans everywhere watched with great pride the performance of Wichita State University. The basketball players and coach have kept Kansas in the national news.
It was an outstanding feat for the Shockers to reach the Final Four this season. And even the loss to Louisville featured play to be admired all the way.
It has been a great year in Kansas sports, thanks to WSU and others.
Kansas State University provided those of us who are out-of-staters with constant entertainment in the football season. The Wildcats continued to ride high even in national basketball standings.
The University of Kansas continues to supply basketball and track fame.
And WSU has done its part in adding athletic building blocks.
Kansas continues to be a leading state in football, basketball, baseball and track.
Thanks again, Wichita State.
JACK M. WERTS