Nation achieved when teaching was viewed as art
Recently, I happened to catch parts of Apollo 13, a movie I have watched several times. It's a great story of courage and sheer technical and scientific competency.
Like the entire Apollo program, it always impresses me. Seeing the huge Saturn rockets on display in Huntsville, Ala., can still give me goose bumps. But as a longtime educator, there is something that bothers me.
How on Earth did America produce such amazing people, capable of such world-class knowledge, competency, achievement and critical thinking in an era in which we relied on schools and universities that were almost completely ignorant of the necessity for pervasive standardized testing, cookie-cutter teacher education, career readiness programs for 11-year-olds, technology looking for a buyer, and countless intrusions into the classroom by state agencies and their corporate assessment industry partners dedicated to creating huge, overlapping and basically inaccessible databases seemingly just because they can?
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They actually seemed to think that teaching was a cultural art based on enthusiasm for learning, when now we now know it is really a science based on collecting data.
It's absolutely dumbfounding.
David L. Arnold
Unfair to teachers
School is a three-way affair, the teachers, students and parents. If the students and parents don't do their part, what are teachers' chances to educate the students? How can teachers be fairly evaluated?
Get your hands dirty
I am troubled at the unwillingness of people to get their hands dirty. Everyone wants that high-paid executive job. There are all kinds of jobs on farms, but it's beneath them to work on the land.
We all need to eat and farms need workers. Do you think crops and vegetables pop out of a factory machine?
We complain about all the undocumented immigrants, yet we are not willing to do the jobs ourselves. We have become spoiled and lazy, expecting everything to be handed to us.
Everyone cannot work in a warm office earning millions, and if it were not for the little man doing menial jobs, the rest of us would grind to a halt.
So I say to all those sitting on their butts complaining: Get up, get out there and get your hands in the dirt. Help Kentucky farms to keep supplying fresh produce.
Respect Breeders' Cup
Having lived in Kentucky my entire life, I guess it's only natural I like horse racing, and the Breeders' Cup rates right behind the Kentucky Derby and Keeneland meets. Lexington defends itself as "Horse Capital of World" at every opportunity.
On Derby Day, WLEX-18 sends everybody but the custodian to Churchill Downs for all-day live coverage with all their frocks on.
Yet they totally disregarded Breeders' Cup coverage all day Friday of this year's event, and televised only one race on Saturday.
I know, it would have been inexcusable to drop Inside Edition or a couple of hours of local news. After all, it had only 5½ hours of it on that Friday with an estimated 30 weather reports.
Since NBC was carrying it live, TVG couldn't carry the Breeders' Cup as part of its racing coverage.
It's disgraceful to completely ignore the Breeders' Cup. There may be an excuse, but I can't imagine what it is.
Coach a class act
Congratulations to Coach Joe B. Hall. Not only was his induction into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame much deserved, it was long, long overdue.
In a career that might have caused others to wilt, Hall stood tall. When he retired as Kentucky's coach in 1985 he departed a champion. One year doesn't count. A lifetime does.
Hall built substance first, discipline and order in himself then into the boys he molded into the men he took to battle. He always showed class. His players performed with class. Not only his players at Kentucky but his players at Regis and Central Missouri before them.
A little more than two generations have grown up since he returned to Kentucky 47 years ago. They know one of the best. They know a coach, but more than that they know a man.
I only hope Coach Hall knows how proud I am to be able to call him my friend.
Jack H. Taylor