YOUR OPINION: March 11, 2012

By NEMS Daily Journal

Common Core strengthens demands on students
It seems that every other year educators have a “new way of doing things.” If it is difficult for teachers to grasp all the changes, imagine what it is like for parents. As a mother myself, I worry about what my own child will be expected to know, and will it be effectively taught to him.
Each state currently has their own set of standards, those items we are expected to teach at each grade level. However, when you look at the “grades” of all states side-by-side not everything seems to line up. In the past it has seemed that Mississippi schools were on the lower end of academic excellence, but is that really the case?
This past fall Lee County and Tupelo Public educators had the experience to listen to Bill Daggett, the chief executive of the International Center for Leadership in Education. He helped us to understand that we are not as far down the line as we originally may have thought. He said, “you’ve got to prepare the kids for the world they’re going to live in.”
Common Core standards will be beneficial for our students because they are set up to help prepare students with the knowledge and skills they will need in order to succeed in college and careers. Common Core focuses on fewer standards each year, thus allowing time to focus on a deeper depth of understanding of the topics being covered. The standards are much clearer than what we have dealt with in the past.
We live in an increasingly mobile society. Common Core will help to ensure that families with children transferring to new schools will not have to adjust to new learning expectations. Parents can feel assured that their children will have access to the same high-quality education other students receive throughout our country. The standards will be the same across all states who are adopting Common Core.
There is a lot of talk about Common Core and a lot of information out there, but be leery of everything you read or hear. Two websites that are sure to be accurate are the Mississippi Department of Education http://www.mde.k12.ms.us and National PTA http://www.pta.org.
Adrienne Simmons
6th Grade Language Arts Teacher
Guntown Middle School
Lee County


Volume of recycling begs for bigger commitment
About two months ago my wife thought that we should get another waste can in the kitchen solely for putting in boxes, and other recyclable material.
So, after looking around for a while to find the right type of waste can I finally bought one and put it by the regular waste can. We began putting all the paper products, and plastic products. The results have been unbelievable. It is Monday night, and I have in the garbage ready to put on the street Wednesday, one large trash basket, the little green basket, a black plastic bag full and two or three other bags and containers full of recyclable material. On the other hand I missed the pickup for the regular pickup for the last two times and the container is still only half full. For the record I only put in the recycle bin that which is clean, not wet or has any food on it or in it.
I am stunned by this. I had no idea that we had so much material that could be recycled. I am going to have to get another container to hold all the material since they only come every other Wednesday. The regular garbage comes two times a week. I think they need to rethink this and I recommend a separate recycle container be placed right in the kitchen – and see the difference.
Henry High
Tupelo


Obama versus truth? Seems like it’s that
It seems Jim High’s letter March 4 reveals a short memory. In 2008 Democrats started with 12 candidates. Discourse between Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry dragged on until the end of June, getting heated and personal. Republicans will soon settle on a candidate.
Mr. Obama continues to be the most divisive president in a century.
Before those who, “Worship at the altar of Obama” start yelling “racist” remember, while 90 percent of blacks voted for Obama in 2008 – it was white voters who put Obama in office. It’s amazing – once in office, anyone who disagreed with Obama or his policies was labeled racist. “African Americans for Obama”? Why not just Americans for Obama? Many Americans may cling to their guns and Judeo-Christian Religion, but progressives cling to their “savior” B. H. Obama. For one who was to unite us, Obama has been a failure, from day one, from Card Check to Obamacare to GM. – (where bond holders were “Hung out to dry,” their equity given to UAW). As I write, GM has temporarily shut down production of the Chevy Volt and laid off 1,300 workers.
A new Obama demon is “The Rich.” Speaking of which, who do the 99 percent think is buying the $25,000 per plate Obama fund raising dinners (not the 99 percent)?
What authority gives “king” Obama power to make anyone who earns more pay more taxes? This is not in our Constitution. Now “king” Obama is taking on clergy over contraception, who should pay, and what about forcing it on people of conscience? Again, who is our dear leader to say who pays?
Obama inherited some debt, yes – yet he alone (contrary to High’s claim) spent more than any president ever, spending more in three years than G.W. Bush did in eight. No budget has been passed by Democrats in three years. The last Obama budget was unanimously voted down 97 to 0 in the Senate Obama controls. To honest people (not Obama disciples) the man remains what he was – a community agitator.
Rick Atwater
Saltillo