Letters to the editor: April 6 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the editor: April 6

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Posted: Sunday, April 6, 2008 2:45 am | Updated: 10:21 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

English learners

Students need time, understanding

In response to writer Le Templar’s piece “ELL problems go beyond funding,” March 16:

When was the last time Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne spent real time in a classroom? More specifically, what amount of time has he spent in a classroom full of second-language learners? Research shows that acquiring a second language, given the best circumstances, can take up to seven years. To assume that an ELL student is able to pass the AIMS test in English, at grade level, before language proficiency is attained is unrealistic. I do not sense that our superintendent has a full grip on educational reality.

Anyone who has worked with students who are in the process of learning English knows that this process cannot be controlled by money and time alone. Many other issues are at play. Placing “one-size-fits-all” limits on students’ learning are inconceivable. Many schools are primarily ELL students at different stages of acquiring English. Those who are English speakers may be also limited both in English and experience and therefore poor models for ELL students.

Once again, teachers are left holding the proverbial bag. Coming from many years of personal experience, this is a difficult and sometimes exhausting process. Educators have spent the last several years mainstreaming these students while being required to get their ESL endorsements. Teachers have juggled time helping students individually reach their English goals while at the same time striving to have all our students meet state standards. Horne now believes that separating ELL students is the key to learning English and the “substance” as he puts it. And, buy separation, this process will exponentially be increased. Surely it will be a frustrating task for school district officials to weed through all the requirements and changes that will need to occur.



Don’t rush reading

When I moved to Arizona 40 years ago, bilingual education and ESL were big, debated issues. It seems they still are. As long as language programs are developed by educators and reading specialists we will continues to have children who cannot function in our education system.

The majority of ESL programs in the public schools are reading-based. In order to understand what is being read and taught it is first necessary to have a good foundation in language. The concentration in the curriculum should be on language for the first three years of school with reading instruction coming later. Children who are introduced to reading after three years of concentrated language instruction can develop age-appropriate reading skills in months. When curriculum planning and funds are controlled by language development specialists there will be an increase in language usage and comprehension.

Valerie Provenzano



Joe getting the job done

Is the world upside down? We have a sheriff being criticized by a mayor for arresting criminals. It is characterized as “discrimination and injustice.” Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, the apprehension of criminals is the very instrument of justice.

Vindication of Sheriff Joe Arpaio is in the figures presented in the March 31 article on the subject. Thirty-six people were apprehended on traffic violations and 20 were found to be guilty of the more serious crime of illegal immigration. That is a 56 percent success rate. More important, the demonstration that these criminals cannot hide behind their ethnic identity is a sobering deterrent to the kind of behavior business people are seeking relief from.

From the city cop on the beat to the president of the United States, it seems that Arpaio is the only public servant willing to protect us against the flood of invaders from our neighboring countries. Way to go, Joe.

Don Carsten


Presidential elections

Sorry, no do-overs

The Southwest Chinese Baptist Church and school in Stafford, Texas, has a playground rule: “Absolutely no fancy tricks.”

Seems to me, this delegate mess in Michigan and Florida could have been expeditiously resolved with a comparable strategy. Do-overs just sounds like a fancy trick (“Writing off ‘do-overs’ leaves Dems’ future increasingly murky” March 25). In grade-school speak, Florida and Michigan cut in line. Now, where I come from, you lose privileges for cutting. A contemporary protagonist with similar aspirations of gaining unfair advantage calls this behavior being a cheater pants. The wisdom of Junie B. Jones should never be overlooked.

The voters of both Michigan and Florida don’t need do-overs; they need to accept the foreknown consequences of rulebreaking in a game already in progress and then redirect their anger at their local politicians, where it belongs. Their elected officials exercised a lack of judgment that cost residents their voice.

While many place the blame of the current dissension at the feet of DNC chairman Howard Dean, his steadfast adherence to policy has been both prudent and judicious. A firm, unequivocal position of authority and compliance has become so anomalous in politics; Dean’s fortitude is refreshing and should be applauded. Clearly in touch with his inner Seuss, Dean needs to continue to channel the good doctor with repeated chants of “I meant what I said and I said what I meant …” while Florida and Michigan Democrats take advantage of the opportunity to draw a collective breath, learn a hard lesson, and accept the consequences of their leaders’ actions.

Shari Hanson



Clintons’ heights of dishonesty

Let’s see. First, we are told to believe that Hillary Clinton was named in honor of Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to climb Mount Everest, but then we find out that he didn’t climb Mount Everest until Hillary was 5 years old. Then we are told that Hillary played soccer on a women’s soccer team in high school, only to discover that her high school had a nonexistent women’s soccer team. Then we are told Chelsea escaped being a victim of the attack on 9/11 by ducking into a coffee shop during a morning run near Ground Zero, only to find out that Chelsea spent the night at a girlfriend’s apartment four miles from away and was awakened by the first explosion on the towers.

Now we are told that on their trip to Bosnia in 1996 that they landed on a strip which was under heavy fire from snipers, and that they were forced to run from the airport tarmac to waiting vehicles where they were whisked away, only to find out that a video taken of their arrival in Tuzla was fairly quiet for being in the middle of a war zone!

What else is in the Clinton’s “bag-of-tricks” that they will try to foist on the American population as they see her drive towards the presidency falling away in a freefall? Stay tuned, folks, as there is much more to come.

Steve Troxel


Conflict won’t end, keep it away

I don’t understand today’s war strategies. Five years in Iraq and we haven’t solved anything. Four thousand lives lost for what? If we had fought World War II that way, we’d still be fighting the Germans in Paris. If anyone thinks this can be solved the way we’re doing it, I’d like them to tell me how. Regardless of how we settle this, as soon as we leave they will go back to killing each other. They’ve been fighting for thousands of years and they know nothing else. If we work at it, we can keep them out of this country but we’ll have to get better than we are now to do that. Too many people don’t care, too bad.

Bill Webb


Homeowners associations

Johnson Ranch should pull back

We moved to Johnson Ranch in September, thinking it would be a great place to live.

I was wrong. I talked to friends in California who have HOAs and they asked me if we still lived in America. They have overnight parking and they have time to put their trash can away and they have streetlights; here we can’t do anything and God forbid if our trash can stays out while I am at work, but yet we pay $60 a month for dirty pools and the spas don’t work half the time. When we walk at night, we have to take a flashlight so we can see. They don’t want streetlights because they need to see the night life. Stars are the last thing I am worried about, how about safety? We work 40 hours a week, with the commute time it seems like 80 hours, but yet when you go to your mailbox the letter awaits you because you parked in the street, or your trash can was out, I saw a weed pop up. How about not being so nosy and instead concentrate on the graffiti or the vandalism that pops up? This community isn’t any different or better; every city or subdivision has issues, but Johnson Ranch seems to have too much time on their hands. If they can drive by and spy on everyone, it would seem they could put their time to better use and let people enjoy their family instead of worrying about a weed.

I love when company comes, but my friends and family don’t like coming here and that’s not right. The HOA should not control my house; they don’t pay my bills or my dues.

Ken Machado

Queen Creek

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