Public school teachers are terribly underpaid
The 2007 legislative session focused on education, but neglected the teachers.
The first person to come in contact with students - the very person responsible for educating our kids - is the teacher. We're doing a poor job of supporting him or her.
At the beginning of the school year, almost every teacher in the school system spends hundreds of dollars out of his or her pocket for the kids in their classes who can't afford the tools required for the classes. That's wrong.
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Those same teachers - the people on the front line of education - are underpaid for the responsibility they have. That's wrong.
The best people go into another industry where they will be properly rewarded for their abilities and knowledge. The school system loses the brightest.
Study after study has shown that the very best learning environment exists when there is a low pupil-to-teacher ratio. We have a rather high ratio in our school systems.
While the Legislature will throw a lot of money at new programs and at administration, there is a relative dearth of money that is actually going to the teachers. And while there is the bonus to the teachers certified by the national board for professional teaching standards, this is down the road for new teachers just entering the system.
That is, there is no immediate incentive for the cream of the cream of the graduates to enter the teaching profession.
The educational standards of students would benefit from support of the teachers.
Michael S. Carrington, Lacey
Liberals want America to fail
I went to grade school in the late '40s. When sides were picked for playground games I was often the last choice, if chosen at all. I got my share of teasing and abuse at recess time but I grew stronger and tried harder to find a niche and be accepted by my peers. It helped me become a better man.
Enter the modern day liberal, whose favorite words used to be "pluralism" and "moral relativism" meaning equality of all things human, including governments. They now espouse multiculturalism, the belief that no culture or cultural practice is better or worse than another. This intramural thinking celebrates not greatness but diversity, a process that can only lead to mediocrity.
America stands as the foremost obstacle to the acceptance of multiculturalism as a valid philosophy. Our aggressive capitalism, resourcefulness, military and individualism are unparalleled anywhere in human history.
The leftists of today, the most powerful residing in education and the media, have spun their spin in such a way as to undermine American greatness. Academia and print have insidiously influenced the herd with their Judas goat agenda. Ideology entraps intellect.
They want America to fail because they foolishly believe that the world would be a better place if we were neutralized and noncompetitive.
Michael Maxin, Olympia
Hip resurfacing is a viable option
The article by Steve Powell describing his metal-on-metal total hip replacement was very good. This relatively new technology is a significant improvement over the old standard total hip replacement.
However, I must object to Dr. P. Brodie Wood's comment regarding hip resurfacing, an FDA-approved alternative to total hip replacement. Dr. Wood stated that hip resurfacing failure rates are as high as 30 percent and that "it's a big gamble."
I am surprised Dr. Wood would make such an uninformed and misleading statement. In fact, based on peer-reviewed journal articles over the past 10 years, the failure rate of hip resurfacing is equal to or less than the failure rates of total hip replacements. I cannot explain why Dr. Wood quoted data from the 1970s. It doesn't help someone considering both of these very useful technologies today. It would be truly unfortunate if someone rejected a resurfacing based on the comments of Dr. Wood.
Hip resurfacing has been used in Europe, India and Australia for well over 10 years. People like Floyd Landis have had hip resurfacing and returned to world class athletic competition. If someone under 60 years old is interested in an alternative to total hip replacement that is less destructive to the femur, allows a greater level of physical activity, and does not require a difficult revision if it fails, then they should at least consider hip resurfacing.
Curtis Knudson, Olympia