The Journal Gazette
 
 
Sunday, November 03, 2019 1:00 am

Letters to the editor

Fast fix available to aid state's teachers

There have been numerous recent public announcements by area school districts and teachers' unions regarding ratifications of new contracts that include raises for teachers. While these much-needed increases are a beginning to fix the problem of 10 years of low pay for teachers, we have another problem that needs to be urgently addressed by lawmakers before the teachers can actually receive their new money.

State mandates require teacher evaluations be linked to 2019 ILEARN test scores and, in turn, those teacher evaluations be linked to teacher salaries and merit pay. This means ILEARN scores are needed to determine which teachers qualify for raises and which qualify for the state's Teacher Appreciation Grant.

In September, spring 2019 ILEARN scores were released, but the State Board of Education voted to postpone release of letter grades for schools. This was after requests by the state superintendent, Gov. Eric Holcomb, school districts, teachers' associations and various state leaders to have lawmakers consider a one-year “hold harmless” exemption for schools and teachers in regard to the excessively low test scores. Until a decision is made, teachers'  evaluations cannot be finalized, raises cannot be distributed, and the grant stipends cannot be given. Since the 2020 legislative session doesn't start until January, this decision could in reality still be several months away.

On Nov. 19, lawmakers will gather at the Statehouse for their annual Organization Day to prepare for the 2020 session. They could pass a bill that day to hold schools and teachers harmless for the ILEARN scores instead of waiting until after the new year.

This is where Indiana teachers need your help. Contact your legislators today and tell them to take action on Organization Day. Not only do these low ILEARN scores not reflect the hard work our teachers and students do every day, they are also preventing teachers from receiving their earned raises and grant stipends.

Andra Kosmoski

President, East Allen Educators Association

Time for more to join ranks of 'human scum'

“Human scum”: This is not how Donald Trump referred to the usual suspects (the Obamas, the Clintons, Biden, Pelosi, the media, etc.). This is how the POTUS refers to Republicans who call him out for his actions. What that list of Republicans lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality: former Republican presidential nominees, former Republican presidents, current and former Republican senators, distinguished diplomats and members of the intelligence community, generals, admirals, war heroes and more.

This is the same POTUS who has turned on longtime allies, cozied up to dictators, thrown those who have fought for us against ISIS under the bus and paid hush money to a porn star. This is the same POTUS who promised to “drain the swamp,” only to have dozens of campaign officials plus official and unofficial members of his administration indicted, under investigation, or convicted and in prison (including his former personal attorney, who was convicted for doing his boss's biding).

“Human scum”: If there has ever been an example of the kettle calling the pot black, this is it.

“Human scum”: It is time for other Republican members of the House and Senate to join this elite group. It is time for them to develop some spine and become “profiles in courage.” They will soon have the opportunity to stand up to this tyrant and preserve our democracy.

Dave Fiandt

Fort Wayne

Trump on high ground with defining issue

Letters in this paper regularly excoriate President Donald Trump. His supporters, including our Sens. Mike Braun and Todd Young and Rep. Jim Banks, are denounced for doing so. People of faith are urged to “listen to the still, small voice within” (Michael Ball's letter, Oct. 5) to renounce the president.

But what says the “still, small voice within” when every Democratic candidate for president supports and defends the right to kill unborn children?

Mayor Pete Buttigieg, along with many others, repeatedly cites Christian faith and values to degrade Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. But Mayor Pete and every one of his fellow candidates boldly supports those who wish to kill children in the womb. For anyone claiming that morality dictates policy, supporting abortion rights alone should soundly disqualify them from being worthy of office.

It is blatant hypocrisy to use the Bible to define morality while arrogantly defying biblical principles and upholding the horror of eliminating the lives of children created by and in the image of God.

While the president is brashly irritating in his speech, the essential defining issue is his correct stance defending the lives of the unborn. Over every other candidate, Trump holds the most essential convictions of the person who should lead this great country.

Eldon Claassen

Fort Wayne

Historical echoes in our troubled times

History is remarkable.

Adolf Hitler had his Goebbels and Goring. Donald Trump has his Hannity and Limbaugh – deniers of the truth.

Demise would come to one leader, and political demise now threatens the other.

Kevin Paul Krajewski

Fort Wayne

2020 landslide will dump dirt on haters

I saw in the newspaper that the jobless rate has dropped to 2.6% from 3.2% in September.

What's wrong with the libs?

Donald Trump is surely to blame, but not one mention from the press.

Why, they should be screaming from their pulpits that this is “unacceptable.”

If we can ignore their stupidity and move on, we can be the great country we once were.

A third-world nation is being pushed on us, not only by Democrats, but some turncoat Republicans such as Mitt Romney.

President Trump is the best of the best, since George Washington. He is smart, uncanny, astute and “perfect.”

George Washington, in his farewell address, warned us about not becoming involved in foreign wars and to secure our borders.

Trump will win again, by a landslide, and let that landslide cover up the dirt and grime of Washington jobs.

SHIRLEY DeGRASSE

Fort Wayne

Mideast withdrawal worthy of praise

The president of the United States is not most “presidential” when he is bombing another country. The POTUS is at his best when using diplomacy.

Removing our military from Syria is the right decision. We have not abandoned Syrian Kurds. They have reconciled with their government and will continue to fight ISIS.

It makes no sense to use military force in situations that do not have a military solution.

It is offensive to hear the term “sacred duty” used to describe our past 70 years of foreign policy: trillions of dollars spent killing millions of people. Environmental destruction from Agent Orange to “depleted uranium” defoliating virgin forests in Southeast Asia to poisoning future generations in the Mideast.

The world has changed a lot in 70 years. Military solutions have not proven effective.

We are still technically at war with North Korea. Diplomacy could be a better national strategy for our multipolar world.

President Donald Trump was elected to be an agent of change. He campaigned to end the endless wars.

Why is it always right to invade other countries, but never right to leave?

People who believe the Kurds are our ally should remember that Turkey is our ally. Kurdish separatists have killed thousands of people in Turkey since the 1980s.

We betrayed Turkey with our invasion of Iraq. Turkey knew war would enable an autonomous Kurdish region. Kurds in four countries were emboldened by our blundering.

We are unlikely to survive another 70 years of clumsy belligerency. There are smarter ways to secure our interests.

I am not a fan of President Donald Trump in general, but I salute his stated desire to end the wars begun by his predecessors.

We need to leave the Mideast and not just reposition our troops in a theater of perpetual war.

Tim Tiernon

Fort Wayne for Peace

Lunchtime surprise will be paid forward

We would like to thank whoever bought our lunch around 2:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at Hall's on East State Boulevard.

We'll pass it on!

STEVE and LINDA SPILLERS

Fort Wayne 


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