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Follow money to source of state’s education woes

After reading the article by Heather Schilling (“Look past numbers to see teachers’ value,” July 1), the time has come for schoolteachers in this state to quit apologizing for being schoolteachers in this state. It’s time for schoolteachers to quit trying to explain why they became teachers.

For eight long years the teachers in this state were bullied by former Gov. Mitch Daniels. There was no effort by Daniels to have honest dialogue with the teachers and or their representatives to discuss ways to improve the education system. Daniels also cut millions in education funding while claiming that education was very high on his list of priorities. It is time to stop the bullying of our teachers and work with them to improve education in this state.

When Glenda Ritz was elected superintendent of public instruction in this state, Gov. Mike Pence made it clear that her election was not going to change the path our education system was on. In other words, she didn’t count nor would any of her ideas count. So much for working to improve education in our state.

Ritz has a very impressive résumé in education. She got more votes than Pence did.

It’s time to get politics out of education. It’s going to take cooperation and money to improve the education system in this state. Instead of looking at the teachers, it is time to take a look at those who are in control of the Statehouse.

CURTIS J. RANSOM Spencerville

Humanities are vital to a rounded education

This past March, I had dinner with Temple Grandin. As most conversations between teachers tend to do, it eventually came around to education. Grandin said, “We are eating our seed corn.” Well, I thought, this cuts right to the chase.

Why do we educate our young? We do it to transfer important skills, to increase overall economic wealth, to reduce poverty and to strengthen the civil society that is so necessary for the functioning of our representative government. While there is value in each one, we can fail to recognize underlying truth if we do not look deeper into the purpose and value of education.

Broad encompassing education is essential if we hope to reach our fullest human potential

Our education must spend significant time addressing the richness and complexity of our shared human experience. Philosophy, sociology, literature and history are just as important, if not more so, than mathematics and the physical sciences.

If in our Race to the Top, we shortchange the humanities, social sciences and the arts, we will cheat future generations. Yes, if we are not careful, we will have eaten our seed corn. Good farmers know you can’t do that for long.

JIM FALKINER The Mark E. Johnston Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies Manchester University

Pork deal likely to hike pollution output in U.S.

Regarding the sale of Smithfield Foods to a premier pork production company to a Chinese entity:

I remember sometime back reading of China’s cutting back pork production because of too much pollution of their waterways due to excessive hog farming. I also recall even further back how we in the U.S. also had a problem with too much intensive hog farming polluting our waterways.

The would-be Chinese purchasers say they will not be flooding the U.S. with Chinese pork, a mere ploy to mislead us as to intent. The truth is that the Chinese want more pork and the profits from selling U.S. pork in China, plus profit from shipments in Chinese ships to China. But they do not want the pollution from pork production and pork processing. They prefer to leave that crap to U.S. taxpayers.

Why have our government and our media not even raised the question of such increased pollution for the United States? Have the Chinese bought silence as well?