Leveling outcomes not the final word
Chattanooga 2.0 says "educational equity" should meet the individual needs of each learner, ensure all students have opportunity to unlock their full potential and eliminate disparities in outcomes. This appears to be an impossible combination of goals.
It is highly desirable that the needs of all students be met and that all receive opportunities to reach their full potential. But even if those goals are achieved, those students who have more natural abilities and motivation will obviously have a better outcome.
Disparities in outcomes will be impossible to eliminate, and trying to do so is futile. Leveling the playing field does not lead to all players performing equally well.
Bob Taylor, Hixson
Step up for kids; vote Perez on Aug. 6
Early voting is over, and now we only have Aug. 6 to affect what has become the most politically charged school board election I've ever seen.
Our choice is Marco Perez, running with the support of current member Kathy Lennon, who can't run again due to health problems, or Tom Decosimo.
Decosimo touts his Tea Party and Republican bona fides (Marco isn't running on any political party "ticket," as school board elections are meant to be about kids and not party platforms), and recently declared his "unapologetic" and "fervent" support of Trump.
We know what that says about his priorities. But don't just vote against someone. Vote for someone.
Vote for the man who knows the importance of public education because he graduated from a public school and sent his kids to public school, for the man who puts teachers and students first (what a novel idea in the age of COVID!), for the man who knocked on my apartment door during the dog days of summer one afternoon, hot, tired, and humbly asking me to vote in this election.
I'm asking you, on Aug. 6, to step up for Marco Perez. Because he's stepping up for your kids.
Reducing police funds is 'incomprehensible'
My wife and I moved to Ooltewah three years ago from a state south of us. I performed volunteer work with a sheriff's department there for 30 years. Previously we lived in the Northeast, where I was associated with a sheriff's department.
Shortly after locating here, it became disconcerting to learn that Hamilton County is so large and has so few deputies to patrol the extensive terrain. Size, in combination with mountains and a network of waterways, results in a complex challenge to patrol. In the county from which we moved, the sheriff's department operated two helicopters with IR night vision capability to patrol a smaller and less complex territory.
I know Sheriff Jim Hammond through Crime Watch and other associations and have come to know several deputies. They are on a par or above other law enforcement agencies I have known. In consideration of the aforementioned challenges, it becomes evident that they are both underequipped and undermanned. It is incomprehensible that there is ever any discussion about reducing police funding. The increase of both crime and violence provides convincing evidence of the need for more policing, not less. This is particularly true for a county as complex as our own.
Luther Brown, Ooltewah
Perez will speak up for those who can't
It troubles me that Tom Decosimo has nothing to say about the ad hominem attacks on Marco Perez.
Most of us are immigrants here. Does it matter how many generations ago we arrived?
Decosimo's "no comment" when asked about these unfounded and scurrilous attacks on his opponent saddens me.
Silence is not neutral. Who will speak up for the children and the families in our schools who are considered "different" or "less than" in the eyes of the majority? I'd say Perez.
Susan Jones, Signal Mountain
Don't reopen schools; protect our health
First, let us state we are strongly opposed to reopening Hamilton County School for in-person classes.
Decisions by the city and county to begin using masks was a huge step forward. The community has taken huge strides to shelter in place and now to wear masks.
Why would our school board now decide to send teachers, staff and children to class to undo all of our hard-earned effort? Forcing them to be exposed along with all their parents, grandparents and friends is negligent.
Finally, CDC data indicates the mortality rate from COVID-19 for those under age 25 is "less than 1%." The average mortality rate for all U.S. cases is about 4%. So, based on the number of faculty, staff and students in Hamilton County, there is the potential for 116 adults and 450 students to die. This would not even account for the community spread and deaths to family and others that might result.
There are many ways to accomplish learning with the amount of technology and alternative learning sites. Because if the school board holds to its current decision, that decision may surely doom us from that recovery.
Pamela and Randy White