Letters to the Editor - April 21-27, 2011

Published on Thu, Apr 21, 2011
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The Editor:
It is easy in this day and age to play the blame game. Employers blame colleges, universities and tech programs for not producing employees that are ready to work. The colleges, universities and tech programs blame high schools for not producing students ready to learn in their programs. This process tends to trickle down until one might believe it is all the fault of the kindergarten teachers who in turn blame parents for not having kids who come to school ready to learn.
The reality is that it is a much more complex issue than this trickle down model. I appreciate Mr. White’s frustration with whom he perceives as students with heads full of mush. However, not voting for the bond will not accomplish what he would like to see (less mush). Not voting for the bond is short sighted and only punishes the school district and the students. By not voting for the bond, you would not be affecting any change in teaching philosophies. You would be subjecting students to facilities that are out of date, too small and in desperate need of repair.
In addition, the bond would free up other money that could be used to offset the budget shortfall that is being passed to the district from the state.
So, in effect, by not voting for the bond, you are not only subjecting students to facilities in need of repair, but also to fewer teachers and staff to ensure that students’ heads are not so full of mush. Currently my middle school classes are at 29 students apiece, which is the same for the other core classes. If we were to lose a teacher at the middle school, those classes would jump to 34. Not voting for the bond will only serve to hurt students. Not voting for the bond will not do anything to decrease the amount of mush, and may in fact increase it.
Please, when it comes time to vote, keep the students in mind. They are the reason we are here. Please help us to help them get ready for the world at large.
Jeff Nyman
Blaine math and science teacher

The Editor and Mr. White:
Though I will not disagree with you on the myriad problems that plague our country’s educational system, I am disappointed to see that you’ve chosen to classify my fellow classmates as having “skulls full of mush.”
Surely there must be better daily activities for a man over three times my age than to refer to children between the ages of five and 18 as uneducated? It is insulting, and in all honesty, disheartening and embarrassing to know what my graduating class will be encountering in the upcoming months.
Kristian Freeman

The Editor:
Never before have I read a letter that inspires so much controversy. Every time I look at the words of David White I choke on the lies he spews.
Very simply put,  he knows not whereof he speaks. Every school in America turns out the so-called “mush brains” that he says doesn’t exist in other countries. Remember the space race, the Internet, and Facebook—great accomplishments with even greater impacts, and these were formed from our “Mush Brains.”
Our nation has never out-tested China and other countries, yet we always lead the pack in innovation. Nationally our test scores may be low. Nationally our dropout rates may be high. A jump to that being our high school’s fault is unsupported.
Great differences exist between our schools and China’s. In China, if you are not good at math or science at the end of the seventh grade you are put into trade school, and this artificially increases the test scores because only their top 10 percent get to take the tests.
Viciously attacking our schools for giving students a chance to change is insane. Einstein failed middle school algebra; in China this would have put him into a trade school where he would have never taken physics and created the theory of relativity. You honestly expect everyone to realize that school matters in the seventh grade? Our school system supports great thinkers who are notorious for being bad students, and misguided students who will change and grow into future achievers. Unsupported our school system will fall to the same traits of China’s. Understand this: The fact that our school system allows for this growth is what makes it a good system. Proposing that our schools suck for giving people freedom to choose their future and their lives is un-American, so please support our school bond.
Rick Aldrin

The Editor:
I would like to comment on David White’s letter in last week’s issue of The Northern Light. I understand that everyone has their opinions about the capitol bond levy for the schools in Blaine. I was deeply offended though by his comment “skulls full of mush.”
I have two school-aged children in Blaine schools, and I feel that the teachers are doing a great job. They have few resources and are trying their best. As for my children, one has a 3.9 GPA the other is soaring. Thanks so much.
 So maybe David White can attend to his “skull full of mush.” Please!
April Young

The Editor:
For those of you like me who care deeply about the quality of education in our community, I encourage you to vote “Yes” on the upcoming ballot for the school. I am an alumni of Blaine high school, having come all the way up from Mrs. Quigley’s kindergarten class 14 years ago.
I never once ate lunch in the cafeteria while in high school. I remember eating lunch in either Mr. Shappell’s or Mr. Freal’s classrooms every single day; both classrooms would have as many as 30 kids eating lunch in them.
I remember walking through the school at lunch and stepping over kids eating in the halls, outside, and in the courtyard.
It never entered my mind to eat in the cafeteria because it was bursting. It would probably seem peculiar to students at other schools that at Blaine high school, students eat in classrooms, sitting in the same desks where they do school work.
It is not a coincidence that some students who are attending Stanford University, Annapolis Naval Academy, Pacific Lutheran University, University of British Columbia, University of Washington, Western Washington University and Washington State University were educated in the Blaine school district.
I will not forget what I owe to the wonderful educators and administrators in Blaine. Some of the most inspirational people in my life still work at the schools. The faculty and staff need help in improving the quality of education for Blaine’s youth.
By undercutting education, we are cutting the legs out from under us and taking away from the future. I hope the economic and global stresses of today have not dissuaded this city away from doing the right thing now.
I was admitted to WWU with distinction, several scholarships, and 25 college credits (thanks to the AP courses I took at Blaine). Many of my classmates received scholarships and distinction due to their academic abilities developed at Blaine. I have tremendous faith in myself and my fellow Blaine grads; now is the community’s chance to show their faith in future graduates.
Dylan Blake



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