Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » LETTERS

    Filed at 6:40 am under by dcobranchi

    A coupla good ones in today’s News-Journal.

    Testing of disabled pupils is unrealistic

    I would like to thank The News Journal for addressing the inherent flaws in the DSTP with respect to special education. I would like to expand on those flaws further as they pertain to my son.

    He is a 5th grader in the Delaware Autism Program. We are lucky that he is able to participate in small group instruction in a special education class for two subjects – math and language arts. He struggles terribly but, due to the nature of his disability, any progress is considered great and we’d like him to continue in academics to the extent he is able.

    Holding him back a grade is not an appropriate option because his disability is largely based on socialization abnormalities that require peer interaction. The remainder of his day is filled with other key learning opportunities which include addressing social issues, speech therapy, community, life skills – all crucial skills for the everyday world.

    My son is not eligible for the portfolio assessment and, as a result, he is required to take the state test in all subjects, including science and social studies – subjects he isn’t even exposed to. His instructional level is below his actual grade level, yet he is still required to be tested on grade level. He already attends school year-round but, once he fails the test, he will then be required to attend academic classes in summer school for a crash course only to be retested on material he hasn’t been able to grasp over several academic years.

    For the most part, our children cannot learn this way; they are wired differently. Shouldn’t his IEP take precedence over the DSTP? The system must be changed; it is only hurting the children in the Delaware Autism Program and wasting valuable non-academic instructional time chasing unrealistic state testing goals. I am sure this pertains to other disabilities as well.

    Dorian Rowe Kleinstuber, Bethany Beach

    The DSTP is the Delaware Student Testing Program. It’s is Delaware’s version of the NCLB accountability test. It is also high stakes, something that NCLB does not require.

    The second letter is interesting from a different perspective. The writer is opposed to same-sex marriage.

    Change society’s definition of marriage

    I think that society’s definitions of very many things are unenlightened and so narrow. I think that society’s old outdated definitions need to change to adapt to the flexibility and inclusiveness of modern philosophy.

    Who cares if a definition has stood for hundreds of years? It’s our definitions today that matter. I think it is unconscionable that we say that water is only the union of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms. I think that the definition of water should be expanded to count two oxygen atoms and two hydrogen atoms. I know narrow minded people call this hydrogen peroxide and they say it is harmful if swallowed or inhaled but they are just peroxide-ophobes.

    If these atoms weren’t attracted to each other they wouldn’t join together to form a chemical compound. Who are we to say they shouldn’t be called water. Using the same logic let’s change the definition of marriage too.

    Jeffrey T. Fisher, Middletown

    I think his logic is flawed. That H2O and H2O2 are different chemicals is a fundamental fact of nature (as it was in the beginning, so to speak). I’m pretty sure that civil marriage is an institution created by men. Still, you gotta love anyone who can work two chemical formulas into a short LttE.

    3 Responses to “LETTERS”

    Comment by
    Ed Hurst
    March 28th, 2004
    at 9:08 am

    I’ll take the second one, Daryl.

    As a bona fide Christian theologian, I contend marriage was made by God. It’s built in to Creation as a fundamental function of human nature. Much has been added over the eons by man, but its essential nature — the permanent union of two lives into one — is unchanged.

    That said, I could care less what the government has to say about what it licenses as “marriage”. As one who writes and officiates at such ceremonies, I have long counseled that government approval is an option, not mandated in Scripture anywhere.

    Comment by
    March 28th, 2004
    at 2:04 pm

    The first letter describes one of the main reasons I hate NCLB. I hate all stupidity, especially when it hurts kids.

    Comment by
    March 28th, 2004
    at 3:12 pm

    I get prickly at the idea of any one religion dictating for everyone, regardless of their religion (or lack thereof), what constitutes a marriage.
    The government, if they truly believe in the separation of church and state, should only be considering the economic cost and human rights issues, where marriage is concerned. Religion shouldn’t come into it on a governmental level.
    At the same time, government shouldn’t have any say in what the churches do either. I figure the government can hand out marriage licenses, churches can marry whom they please, and they should each mind their own business. I don’t see why churches should have to recognize marriages that run counter to their teachings (don’t some still refuse to acknowledge second marriages?). But at the same time, churches shouldn’t set government policy either, because that would mean they would be making rules for folks who haven’t bought into their belief system, and that’s not fair.
    On a side note – in church today, a couple of little white-haired old ladies stood up to announce their marriage to each other. Thirty-some years makes for an impressively long engagement! I love how they epitomize the “gay lifestyle” and I only hope my dh and I can live up to that standard of fidelity and committment.
    But, I still did enjoy the chemical formula letter – at least it was clever!