Dropouts not just a waste of money but of human potential
After reading that New York state has the nation’s highest per-pupil spending [June 9 Gazette], I was further dismayed to learn that the 2012 high school graduation rate was an abysmal 49.2 percent for the Albany City School District and marginally better 58.2 percent for the Schenectady City School District [June 18 Gazette].
If scarce few good jobs are available for graduating college seniors, what kind of future will the undereducated face?
The dire consequences of not graduating create pervasive societal problems that will continue to cost taxpayers — the same taxpayers that pay for public education — untold billions to support our welfare, health care and criminal justice systems. Education isn’t a panacea for all social ills, but high school graduation is the bare minimum requirement to participate in today’s global economy — and that diploma won’t guarantee a decent standard of living.
Unfortunately, the greatest tragedy for dropouts is the immeasurable human toll: the lost opportunity to realize one’s full potential and become a more productive citizen.
Instead of playing the blame game, we need to adopt a unified, focused effort to address the problems that plague education — and solve them. Time is running out.
Eldon J. Smith Jr.
Why must Will always be so negative about Obama?
OK, enough is enough. Nationally syndicated columnist George Will’s articles in the Gazette need a makeover.
It’s not that Will is a poor writer. His sentences are expertly chosen and his grammar is impeccable. It’s just that most, if not all, of what he writes is extremely negative, and his favorite target is President Obama. It has been going on for a long time now, even before Obama became president.
The spewing of hatred for our president, especially from a distinguished columnist, has never been more evident than in the June 23 article, “Obama goes from bad to worse in Berlin.”
Read it over again and see if you don’t get the feeling that Will obviously wants our president to fail. There has to be at least some good coming out of the presidency, something positive once in a while. You would never know it based on Will’s writing. Freedom of speech is a great thing, but it must be balanced and fair.
I wish that George Will, as fine a journalist as he is, would express more positive, constructive views. If not, maybe the Gazette should find a replacement.
Michelle travels on dollars of those who can’t afford to
“Let them eat cake,” was Marie Antoinette’s response to the fact that the poor Frenchman had no bread to eat.
Now over 200 years later, what will Michelle [Obama] tell the poor and unemployed in America as she plans her escape on a $100 million tour of Africa at taxpayers’ expense? I hope you enjoy the trip, as many of us can’t even take a day trip at $3.50 a gallon for gas.
Over 14 million Americans are still out of work. Thousands of public workers at all levels are taking furlough days, without pay, so Michelle can take her family on vacation.
Veterans deserve honor, dignity of a proper burial
We, as a nation, owe so much to our veterans of all wars, and they were all wars, no matter what you call them.
What a shame to read about unclaimed veterans finally laid to rest. Some of these veterans go back as far as WWII. I would think there is a better way to take care of this — like when a veteran passes away in a hospital and the family doesn’t have the means to take care of a proper burial, the hospital calls a veterans post in the area where the death took place.
At that point, the veterans post can call the Patriot Guard Riders or the Gerald B.H. Solomon [Saratoga] National Cemetery to find out what has to be done to complete the process for a final resting place. Hopefully, some veterans posts will pick up on this and call the national cemetery to find out what has to be done to complete the process. This also goes for funeral homes in our area. It will make life easier for all.
Veterans are the ones that have kept our country a free nation. We owe them the respect they deserve.
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