Sunday, January 29, 2017

An Issue in Education

The following letter to the editor appeared in the Albuquerque Journal a week ago, on January 22nd. It definitely makes some most valid points.

I am a Canadian teacher and literacy specialist who is following New Mexico's literacy debate with interest. I have met with the same stubborn refusal by government and school districts to even consider that perhaps the reading methods being used are ineffective, and that more money will not solve the problem.

Having taught students and teachers for over 20 years, I know what works; however, an inexpensive, easy-to-use, guaranteed-to-work phonics method is not what the billion-dollar business of education — with its "balanced literacy, guided reading" jargon — wants to hear.

I find it especially ironic that New Mexico seems to have the same attitude, and such dismal literacy stats, since the "cheap and easy" method I have been using for over 20 years to successfully teach reading was created by New Mexico's Dr. Ernest Christman.

New Mexico has a clear, simple, relatively quick solution to its illiteracy woes right in its own backyard. Why is the state not using it?

          KATE KELLY
          Delta, British Columbia, Canada

My mother would have enjoyed reading that letter. She used phonics to teach reading back in the 1960s. Then, as now, it was both out of favor and highly effective. But she only cared about what would work for her students. And as she noted,
Some students will learn no matter how well or by what method they are taught. For others, the teacher must find the method that can enable the student to learn.
Phonics really should be used to teach reading. If the education establishment wants to use the latest fad instead, it should at the very least allow and support the use of phonics to teach students for whom the fad does not work well.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Three Obama Rules to Follow

The following letter to the editor appeared in the Albuquerque Journal on January 24th.

To honor the legacy of ex-president Obama, it would be fitting to continue to observe three rules that were hallmarks of his presidency.

First, for the next eight years, anything bad that happens is the fault of the previous president.

Second, starting January 20, anything good that happens is the result of the wise guidance of the current president.

Third, any attempt by the party in the minority to exert influence over the course of government is to be considered a bigoted and racist attempt to thwart the will of the people.

Given how well these principles served President Obama, I am sure we can all agree that we should continue to follow them as part of Obama's legacy.

It is going to be an interesting ride and, to paraphrase ex-president Obama, "You progressives are welcome to come along for the ride, but you will have to ride in the back (of the pickup)."

After all, elections have consequences.

          Cedar Crest

No further comment is necessary.

A WD-40 Ad from 1964

This is a genuine Ad from 1964 when WD-40 was first released.

Their Ad department sure had a delightful way with words.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

A New Vision Will Govern Our Land

Yesterday, the United States of America received a new President. His inaugural address was not partisan. And in it, President Trump showed himself not to be an ordinary politician.

The Albuquerque Journal reported on yesterday's inauguration this way.

And now we begin a new era.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Inauguration Approaches

President Barack Obama offers to give President Elect Donald Trump his best advice as Trump prepares to take office.

Meanwhile, a sizable chunk of the Democratic Party, not believing in the Constitution or the orderly transfer of power, does what they do best.