Parents have a role to play
The president of the American Federation of Teachers says parents should have no say in shaping the curriculum. Yes, qualified professionals should write lesson plans, determine subject proficiency, provide a safe learning environment and maintain classroom discipline.
However, parents have awakened to the fact that their children graduate with modest marketable skills. This dissatisfaction is not new — pointed questions about the purpose of education coincided with America’s entry into a global economy. School administrators proposed universal college degrees and high-tech training to “right the ship,” a plan that made sense when higher education was still reasonably inexpensive. Unfortunately, over time the value of a college degree deteriorated even as the cost of a four-year degree increased. Students who pursue advanced professional degrees and certified jobs do well, but those who earn “soft degrees” end their college careers with massive debt and earn about as much as their high school buddies.
These sad facts frustrate parents and students alike; education is supposed to be the key to the American Dream. Questionable curriculum choices — such as critical race theory, sex education for pre-teens and teaching for the test — further obscure the purpose of a modern tax-funded public education. High school graduates should be able to compete equally in the 21st -century global economy.
Dennis Weiser, St. Joseph
Don’t focus on transgender status
I have an issue with the way a recent article was written. “Ex-cop of the year” published Nov. 15, 2021, was written by Matt Hoffmann. The accused former police officer was identified as William Duncan.
In the third paragraph, William Duncan is identified as transgender. Why? What does the accused’s gender identification have to do with their alleged crime? Does their gender affect the location of their incarceration? That wasn’t mentioned in any following paragraphs. Outing a member of the LGBTQ community is completely unnecessary.
The fourth paragraph then reads, “... ordered Duncan detained following her initial appearance ...” By identifying the accused as William Duncan, the writer needs to use the pronoun “him.” Using a female pronoun alleges the accused has a female gender, but has clearly been identified with a male name. It’s not clarified.
Any actual information attempting to be conveyed by this article is lost after the third paragraph. The reader no longer cares when the accused was incarcerated, released or violated the conditions of release. It was basically “a transgender person committed a crime.”
Rachael Kimney, St. Joseph