Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor: Competition improves schools; Trump keeps his promises

Are charter schools good? Hear from UK’s new education dean

Julian Vasquez Heilig, new dean of the UK College of Education, questions research on charter schools.
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Julian Vasquez Heilig, new dean of the UK College of Education, questions research on charter schools.

Competition betters schools

Kentucky kids’ achievement in reading and math is at or below the U.S. average. They are not being prepared to compete in a global economy. State, local and federal governments have had a monopoly in running K-12 schools for over 200 years. They force all but a few students, whose parents can afford another option, to stay in schools that are not preparing them for a successful future.

Our kids deserve better. Parents and taxpayers deserve better.

The current model, a government education monopoly, is broken. It involves central planning — top-down decisions by politicians who create one-size-fits-all laws that are carried out by an administrative bureaucracy. This model is expensive, resistant to change, and slow to innovate.

We need parents to have the freedom to choose the school that is best for their child. They should be able to choose a traditional public school, private school, charter school, home school — any accredited education service — and pay for it with public funding. This will create competition among schools, raising the quality and lowering the cost of Kentucky education.

Ray Davis, Lexington

Best candidate the priority

In sidestepping her fumbles after announcing her candidacy for U.S Senate, Amy McGrath said: “The priority is defeating Mitch McConnell.”

Not so — the immediate, all-important priority is to select the most capable Democrat to oppose and defeat Senator McConnell. McGrath presented a cringe-worthy pandering for supporters of President Donald Trump, followed by her outlandish bumbling about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. McGrath needs to withdraw, and Kentucky’s best Democratic candidate needs to oppose and defeat McConnell in 2020.

The survival of our U.S. Senate and our country are at stake.

Michael Gregoire, Louisville

Trump keeps promises

It was gratifying to see the front page of the Aug. 21 Herald-Leader featuring the news that President Donald Trump is fulfilling his promises to his supporters (“Trump steadily fulfills goals on religious right wish list”). This continues to confirm that he and his staff are people of their word.

We did not subscribe to the Herald-Leader for several years because of the continual liberal bent that marginalized those of us who do not support this philosophy. However, we got a “deal” one day and resubscribed. (We had tried the e-edition but it wasn’t the same as holding a paper in one’s hand.) We are encouraged, at least for now. We are hoping that the paper will follow, with an unbiased eye, the progress made by Republican leaders both in the state and in the nation. No one is perfect, but there is honesty and integrity being displayed.

Mary Leah Atkinson, Lexington

Time to step up

I know racism. Right here in Lexington the words, “Go back where you came from,” have been hurled at me. Such hate speech always stuns me, like a sudden wave that knocks me back. After its initial jolt, I can’t help thinking to myself: Go back where? To New York, where I was born and raised? As a proud African-American woman with some Choctaw blood in the mix, and as a proud headscarf-wearing convert to Islam, I refuse to be intimidated.

But the pain of hate speech is often punctuated by the lack of response of onlookers. In all the times in which I have been the subject of bigoted remarks in public, onlookers were silent. This silence frustrates me as much as the racism.

President Donald Trump’s “go back to where you came from” is a challenge to America. If you do not want an America that keeps alive language historically used to marginalize religious, ethnic and national minorities, if you are disturbed by the silence of Kentucky politicians and by the prospect that they will continue to be elected; now is the time to get off the fence and struggle to realize the ideals you want America to live by.

Waheedah Bagby, Lexington

What about our lives?

We hear so much from the right about protecting the life of the unborn by banning all abortions. I would like to hear from them about protecting the lives of the rest of us by banning assault guns.

Jerry Thiedich, Nicholasville

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