Social workers deserve our thanks
March is National Professional Social Work Month. This provides an opportunity to express appreciation for the many ways that social workers help our community’s most vulnerable members. For more than 100 years, these individuals have addressed society’s problems and inadequacies with their own remarkable blend of compassion, knowledge and expertise.
In Fort Wayne and Allen County, as well as numerous other communities, social workers help people overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges: poverty, discrimination, abuse, addiction, physical illness, divorce, loss, unemployment, education, disability and mental illness.
In gratitude to my two daughters who have chosen this career, along with social workers everywhere for all they’ve done and with respect for the dedication it represents, it is appropriate that we take a moment and simply say thank you.
JEFF CRAWFORD Fort Wayne
Congress needs a wake-up call
The ink on the 2008 inaugural papers was not even dry when one of the nation’s highest-ranking Republican officials said: This president must fail. His party has tried by every means possible to make this happen.
Their most recent efforts have resulted in a travesty of financial overhaul. They have shown whom they favor and whom they legislate for in D.C. If $250,000 is the middle class level, then most of us have lived our lives in poverty and didn’t know it. It will only take one election to send them home.
There are 535 people in Washington who have control over these issues, and if they did their job, we wouldn’t be facing many of the problems we now have. Congress has its own setup on retirement, insurance, etc. They play by a different set of rules than their constituents.
It is high time we remind them that they work for us. When have any of them offered to reduce their wages, in view of the economy? They have an automatic annual increase and at the same time put all Social Security raises on hold in 2012. We get a meager raise this year, but increases in Medicare will eat that up and then some.
Are you part of the problem or part of the solution? The choice is yours.
NEIL FARR SR. Marion
Common Core has fatal flaws
As out-of-state investors and pro-privatization education interest groups pour into our state to advocate in favor of Common Core state standards, it would seem the practitioners commissioned to implement them should be consulted as well. I’ve been a teacher of 22 years in our public schools, and concerns exist with the newest fad to sweep the nation.
Four of the most compelling concerns are:
1) The complete loss of local/state oversight to the federal government.
2) The exorbitant and yet-to-be-accounted- or budgeted-for cost of technology, teacher training, new materials, testing, etc.
3) The standards themselves are flawed and neither research-based nor benchmarked, and they are not only lower than what high-performing countries expect, but it is generally accepted that our current Indiana standards are superior.
4) A loss of privacy and confidentiality as student data are gathered and digitally warehoused.
Common Core is one more colossal bad idea with personal individual as well as national implications and unintended adverse consequences.
JULIAN SMITH Hope
Everyone deserves opportunity
March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.
Our nation continues to address serious budget challenges, while at the same time continuing to provide opportunities for all Americans to pursue their dreams and contribute their own unique talents to the fabric of our communities.
The diversity that enriches our nation as a whole and the freedoms that all Americans cherish are embodied in the lives of people with disabilities – those whose interests are often overlooked and whose needs are often unmet when budgets are tight. National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month provides an opportunity for communities to recognize the vital contributions individuals with disabilities are making in our neighborhoods.
Please join us as we encourage the pursuit of the dreams and talents of every member of our community.
ALICE ANDERSON Vice president of programs Passages, Inc. Columbia City