An emphasis on how America works
It is high time an editorial appeared on the shabby state of our education in regard to civics (Thursday’s Eagle). I certainly remember this being a required class for me and my siblings.
I think it no accident that such enormous numbers of U.S. citizens are now ignorant of the truly revolutionary and enlightened ideas enshrined in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution — ideas so progressive that few nations have embraced them to the degree the USA has, at least formally. Informally, and in day-to-day practice, it seems many U.S. citizens would prefer to suppress the rights of others whose ideologies or opinions are just as protected as, but offensive to, theirs.
Witness the anger at and paternalistic responses to NFL players who kneel during the national anthem, or on the other side, those who violently protest speakers at universities whose views they find regressive. Freedom comes with responsibility, but also with discomfort.
The Founders for all their flaws were products of the Enlightenment; let us restore their values to the country they so hoped would succeed, starting with reintroduction of high school civics courses, even if at the expense of a STEM class.
Tina Bennett-Kastor, Wichita
Not getting this vote again
Kansas senators and representatives, thank you so very much for helping pass the new tax bill that made its way through Congress. I so appreciate your assenting votes because they finally display your true stripes for all of Kansas to see clearly. You really are interested only in yourself, wealthy corporations, and fat-cat donors. The majority of Kansans whom you purportedly represent? You could care less about their welfare.
Your vote for this bill proves conclusively that you are not in the least bit interested in looking out for the well-being of the good hard-working citizens of Kansas. Since your obvious concerns are only for the rich and powerful and not the majority of Kansas’ population, you have no business representing this state in any capacity. As someone who never misses an election, I will not only never vote for you for any office, but will openly campaign against you and encourage everyone to vote against you. You do not really care about us or the well-being of this state — you do not deserve our support.
Linda Parsons, Wichita
Parents key to student success
As a retired fifth-grade reading teacher, I wake up each morning thinking I am living a bad dream. Imagine that a virus was spreading through America and it was hindering the natural growth and development of half of our children. We had the cure, but parents and community members refused to use it?
The virus is American parents and community members. The cure is understanding brain development and providing children 3-9 the simple daily 20-minute workouts that teachers cannot do, that create a child’s learning foundation.
We have school half the days of the year, yet we expect our teachers to achieve a year’s worth of growth in each child; each child is at a different developmental learning level, and a teacher cannot provide each child content at their individual levels, but we can at home; it is known that every summer, elementary children lose 20-25 percent of their fluency levels in basic math and reading.
Why? When parents can provide easy and fun daily 20-minute workouts that turns the loss into a 100- to 200-percent gain. Parents need only to go to YouTube to find fun games and activities.
Kurt Kerns, Wichita
End religious freedom role
The extensive coverage of the delay in Gov. Sam Brownback’s confirmation as ambassador for religious freedom has prompted me to consider whether the U.S. government needs, or benefits from, such a position.
Religious freedom is a foundational value of the U.S., along with freedom of speech, private property, a free press and representative government. America furthers these other values by example, not by proselytizing.
Immigrants seeking the best education flock to our universities because they know the American story and see the results, not because of ambassadors for science. Immigrant entrepreneurs seek benefits of free-market capitalism. Elite baseball players leave family to play here. American commitment to religious freedom is not fragile, and does not need an ambassador.
Dwight Oxley, Wichita
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