Religious groups shouldn’t be so sure about what God wants
In response to Richard Carlino’s March 22 letter criticizing the blessing of a Planned Parenthood facility, which conducts or facilitates abortions, which he says are “so against God.”
Many religious groups claim they alone know the truth about the creator of the universe, and what he requires of us. Not surprisingly, these “truths” and requirements are all different, contradictory and not provable. In that context, it seems arrogant to apply one’s own religious judgment to another religious group’s blessing of a facility, when such blessing was presumably consistent with their different — and more tolerant understanding of God.
There are plenty of rational, logical points to be made in the arguments for and against abortion. Injecting religion, which by nature is subjective and belief-based, into the debate serves only to muddy the waters and can do nothing to resolve the problem.
And the larger issue is this: To insist that your religion has the only true knowledge of what God wants can send you down a dangerous road of intolerance, along which can be found the Inquisition, religious wars, and abortion clinic bombings. It leads directly to Osama bin Laden’s cave.
Sch’dy schools need better reading instruction
Both my sons attend Schenectady High School and have always been in the district. I am a parent who advocates for students and parents as they attend their child’s Committee on Special Education [CSE] meetings in our district, as well as being a parent of a child with a learning disability.
I believe reading skills are the most critical facet of our children’s’ education. The consequences of reading failure are psychological, social, and most definitely, economic, as far as employment opportunity.
My reason for writing is to recommend that the Schenectady school district implement a reading program consistent with the National Reading Panel of the National Institute of Child and Human Development, a systematic, multi-sensory, structured language program that is based on phonics. For years now, there has been growing evidence-based research that this kind of reading program will teach all children to read, especially those for whom reading skills do not come automatically!
I firmly believe that this is the only method that should be used by teachers. It has been told to me time after time that a majority of the students in Regents classes read poorly and are below grade level. What a shame that the district, education system, and possibly their own family situation, have failed our students, and we let this continue. It’s a crime, plain and simple, when we let our students float through the system when the simplest rules of language elude them.
So many of our children have undiagnosed reading difficulties like dyslexia and most can be successfully taught to read with multi-sensory structured language programs, as recommended by the International Dyslexia Society. I have no doubt that by implementing this kind of reading program, the number of children recommended for special education will go down, we will have more students graduate and move on to college. The money saved can be spent on more needy children and for other needs within the district.
At the same time, I know this will require a consistent and significant investment — monetarily and administratively.
In reading the district’s “Contract for Excellence,” it states that a curriculum audit in English language arts has been completed.
I feel that implementing a district-wide reading program, as outlined above, should be included in the final implementation plan, especially as our district is growing at an alarming pace.
Ilene La Malfa
Strock saw Obama for what he is
A big “thank you” to Carl Strock for his excellent March 20 column about Barack Obama and his big-mouth, racist preacher, Jeremiah Wright. Barack denouncing Rev. Wright’s latest anti-America, anti-white “sermon” on TV the other day comes 20 years too late to have any meaning at all.
As syndicated columnist Susan Estrich said in her March 21 column, Obama has been listening to Wright’s ranting about white America every Sunday for 20 years. Why has he decided now to disagree with him? Because now the whole world knows what Obama and his preacher are all about.
This is the same Rev. Wright who married Barack and his wife and baptized their children. They are so close that Barack refers to him as Uncle Jeremiah. Barack did not have to go to this church, he chose to.
Please do not keep telling me that race is not an issue in the upcoming election. What a sleazy primary season. Why couldn’t John McCain be a Democrat?
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