Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Opinion

May 5, 2013

In Your View

ASHLAND — Schools must go back to basics

The education of the three R’s, history and civics will determine the survival of our state and nation. We are losing our future by grooming all children toward a college degree and many are being left behind. People who have graduated with a four-year degree are unemployed with substantial student loans. Students should, through aptitude and evaluation, be guided toward a vocation or trade rather than condemning them to a feeling of failure and poverty.

Politicians have thrown money at education for years through taxes without accountability and justification to determine which programs are successful. Teachers are threatened with layoffs to meet the budget. The stewards of our education taxes are accountable for programs and should be held to a conservative standard. The sacred cows of extracurricular activities are never addressed to benefit a full-rounded education.

Time in the classroom is the gold standard for success and a teacher’s class is only as strong as its weakest student. No student should be advanced until he or she has satisfied the requirements of a grade level. The practice of everyone progressing based on age is holding back the preparation of students for college and causing our population to be degraded to the illiteracy of a Third World nation.

Our nation was built on the backs and sweat of blue-collar workers and now our past industries are lying in waste after being shipped off shore. With the evolution of the “in-your-face attitude” and lack of discipline, if changes are not made, we are doomed to failure as a nation.

Ron Wedekind, Greenup

Circle was great place to grow up

Reading the obituaries last week I saw where Sidney Rice passed. What a loss to all the folks in what I’ll call the circle.

The circle was from the beginning of Johnsons Fork near the old Eidson School to Eades Holler to Graydon Heights to Bayless Hill on Catletts Creek and back to the school. This is where I spent most of my life.

The thing about the cicle as a child was how safe you felt. On Saturday mornings after cartoons, the mothers would run all the kids outside to play. You could not stay inside unless you were sick, but that was no problem. We loved being outside and running the hills.

Most of the time we would meet at the field for football, baseball, basketball or World War II combat, which took all day to play because it entailed giving a group a 30-minute head start before trying to find it. Finding kids to play was not a problem because there were about 15 we were either related to or were grafted into the family. It was a place where I met and still have my best friend, Mike Amos, and met my second best friend who I went to college with, Casey Shumway.

These are great memories. The mothers and fathers who lived on the circle led by example and taught all children of the circle to know right from wrong.

Where have they gone? Some are still living, but many, like Mr. Rice, have had a home-going.

People say times have changed. I say what really has changed are the people. I’m glad I had the privilege to live on the circle. The things I was taught as a child stay with me as a man while I look for a circle for my grandchildren.

Bob Maynard, Catlettsburg

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