Letters | 3-11-15

High marks doesn’t mean education system has improved

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High marks doesn’t mean education system has improved

Saturday’s article headlined, “Hawaii gets high marks for education,” seems to me to be a propaganda piece for the local and national education reform entities that have caused much damage to the public school system.

Just because the federal Department of Education gives us high marks doesn’t mean that education in the public schools has improved.

It means that we have been excellent at jumping through their hoops, doing what they tell us to do. We are excellent at following directions, but not so good at questioning the impact on children and teachers who care about them.

Those more in tune with what is actually happening in the schools, such as in Washington, are penalized for being sensible and concerned about the negative impacts of these reforms. While some of the programs are valuable, the ones that concern the federal government the most have to do with the adoption of the Common Core standards and assessments that tie student scores to teacher evaluation.

Anyone who cares about public education locally and nationally, especially if you have children in public schools, needs to find out if these initiatives are really an improvement, or if the opposite is more the case. If schools and children are doing well, chances are they are doing so in spite of the “reforms,” not because of them. This is not a good environment in which to thrive and succeed.

Diane Aoki

Kealakekua

Use Tasers, not guns to subdue suspects

All the riots and things going on in the mainland because a person was shot could have been avoided if law enforcement used Tasers to subdue felons instead of shooting them to death.

At least they can capture them first and ask questions later without hurting them. Maybe then the riots in Ferguson, Mo., and elsewhere could have been prevented.

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Colleen Miyose-Wallis

Kailua-Kona