Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor (May 17)

School success more complex

Kris Kobach’s ideas for a school grading system shows how clueless he is about education and our school problems (“Kobach: Schools should be rewarded, punished,” May 12 Eagle). His simple-minded view of using letter grades to rate schools would not work and would make some bad situations even worse.

So many of our school problems begin in our society at large. I taught in public schools for 35 years and noticed some distressing changes in children and parents through the years.

Children do not learn well if they come from an unstable home environment — and too many children come from bad situations. They also don’t learn if they come to school hungry.

Kobach (and other know-it-all politicians) does not consider mental abilities. There are more children with lower IQs than we would like to admit. Children with low mental abilities will never be on grade level no matter how exceptional the teachers. They need to be taught skills they can master, but we cannot expect them to excel on standardized tests. Our emphasis on testing is misguided.

Phyllis Stanley, Augusta

America on the world stage

President Trump has blown away any pretext that the United States is a neutral broker to Israeli/Palestinian peace with the opening of the embassy in Jerusalem. Now that that’s done, he has added insult to injury by saying he’ll punish any ally who trades with Iran.

I can only hope the rest of the world finally wakes up and begins the process, painful as it will be for all involved, to extract itself from the United States and its influence. Clearly we can no longer be trusted to keep an agreement and to elect a clear-eyed president with the gravitas and temperament to lead what used to be the greatest nation on earth.

Gone is the United States of the Marshall plan, when we rebuilt countries of our former enemies to join us in world prosperity. Gone are the days of consensus with our allies as to a common cause be that climate change, world peace, or as advocates for the poor and disenfranchised. So do yourselves a favor world. Start working together in all things, monetarily, trade and on international policy and leave America where it is clearly headed with the current leadership, in the dust bin of history.

Kathleen Butler, Wichita

Affordable housing can be challenge

The recent data on evictions (“Wichita averages eight evictions a day,” May 13 Eagle) and article on the affordability of housing (“Wichita ranks high for first-time home buyers,” May 12) in Wichita may seem like a bit of a paradox. So is housing here affordable or not?

As with anything, it is a matter of perspective and circumstance. For Wichita families depending on one household income, or whose wage earners hold entry-level jobs or who lack a strong network of support, there is a challenge to find safe, affordable housing.

Wichita Habitat for Humanity’s program prepares low-income families for successful homeownership, which has been proven to improve financial stability, with a long-term impact on family health, educational achievement and decreased reliance on external support. These are changes that transform families for the present and future generations.

We are grateful to the Eviction Lab for shedding light on issues that arise, even in communities where housing is relatively affordable for most. And we are eternally grateful to the individuals, churches and corporations who support construction of affordable housing stock so modest-income workers have the opportunity to realize the American dream of a homeownership.

Ann Fox, executive director,

Wichita Habitat for Humanity

America’s holocaust failure

The U.S. National Holocaust Museum exhibit to which Forrest James Robinson Jr. refers (May 11 Eagle) does not adequately confront President Franklin Roosevelt’s and his War Department’s rejection of the many requests to use bombing to disrupt the transport of Jews to the Auschwitz annihilation camp and disable its killing machinery.

In his seminal work The Abandonment of the Jews (1984), the late David Wyman reported that during the fall of 1944, enslaved Jewish women at Auschwitz, whom the Nazis forced to manufacture munitions, smuggled a small amount of explosives to male Jewish inmates cremating the bodies of murdered Jews.

As Wyman noted bitterly: “Those few wretched Jews then attempted what the Allied powers, with their vast might, would not. On October 7, in a suicidal uprising, they blew up one of the crematorium buildings.”

Stephen Norwood,

Norman, Okla.

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