Independent, progressive, and agnostic former draftee; lifelong supporter of social equality and political reform; and now, a retired professional.
Excellent commentary, Mr. Tosches. Thanks as well for including several of the more outrageous (and illuminating) comments voiced by Cadman, Gardner, and Lamborn.
The Independent is distributed free-of-charge and advertising pays the bills, the intent of any newpaper's ads. If one is offended by the advertising, it can easily be avoided or ignored. Yet another option, of course, would be eschewing the Independent in its entirety.
You know these choices, and may have identified other ones as well, yet have chosen to read and reply to Indy articles and commenters. Self-determination would seem to be a dual-edged sword, for some people.
This is not an "inappropriate and unwarranted smear." It reported facts about Mr. Jones' serial "appropriation without attribution" as well as his violations of personal integrity, journalistic ethics, and the public's trust.
An exquisitely funny and well written column, Mr. Tosches. Thank you for bringing humor and insights to Doug Bruce's plight. He needs more of these in his daily life, including the plights.
Outstanding commentary, Mr. Hazelhurst, and thought provoking questions about Mitt Romney's background and motivations. Being the biggest dog seems to be his primary objective. But leadership takes more than pedigrees and senses of entitlement. It also requires clear visions and solid plans that supercede self-interests and special interest groups. In these capacities, Romney is sorely deficient and destined never to lead the whole pack.
Buy the Gazette, Mr. Weiss, and bring journalism back to that newspaper.
Mr. Lloyd: I admire those who work as substitute teachers. They can face myriad problems throughout the day, may receive little support, and certainly earn little money.
I concur that some students should be empowered to attend college or trade school before high school graduation. Transition programs available in many local districts help address this purpose for a few students. Their days are divided between high school and community college and credits are accrued toward graduation from both institutions. The programs are far from perfect, however, and benefit only a handful of students in the Pikes Peak region.
I also concur that more vocational training programs should be available in schools. Some are highly successful and offer solid career opportunities (e.g. Doherty's automotive program). Regrettably, a predonderance of vocational programs are geared toward culinary arts or the tourist industry. Their post-graduation opportunities often are limited to seasonal, low-paying, high-turnover employment. A much broader variety of vocational programs is needed, as well as greater emphasis on more specialized and higher paying jobs. It is debatable whether vocational training should be offered or merely introduced at middle schools.
I do not agree that junior and senior high schools should be converted solely to this purpose. We teach students having highly diverse hopes and needs, abilities and potentials. Teaching core curricula (and electives) is every educator's primary reponsibility and cannot be abdicated, as suggested, to the Internet. Similarly, we cannot channel all students in the same direction. A variety of options would be available in an ideal system.
I also disagree with another suggestion, that elementary schools should extend, again, through eighth grade. Although some benefits may accrue (e.g. peer-tutoring or building consolidation), ample research and practical applications have revealed that this is generally ill-advised from academic, social, and developmental perspectives.
Finally, I humbly submit that concerns about students running buck wild and being unteachable may be attributable to several factors. Chief among these may be the inherent difficulties and frustrations of substitute teaching. I worked closely with a number of them and knew that these concerns ran very deep, just as did their commitment to the teaching-learning process. I also knew when the time had come, though, for some substitutes to step away from that position, if only for a while. Few "civilians" understand the rigorous challenges that can confront substitute teachers. Perhaps even fewer co-professionals would endure all that substitute teachers do, regardless of their education and experience, for $10-15 per hour.
Unless hoping to obtain a full-time position via the substitute teaching route, it may be time, Mr. Lloyd, to re-evaluate whether to continue waking to another day's call for help from a school. Alternately, one may wish to consider working only in elementary schools, if so certificated and inclined, where students may seem less unruly and more teachable.
Thank you, Mr. Lloyd, for being one who has helped schools and students for little pay or recognition. Substitute teachers and paraprofessionals are unsung heroes who merit and surely deserve of far more than they receive.
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