Letters for August 28, 2008

Dennis rocks
I have just finished reading the Aug. 7 and Aug. 14 issues, including the stories by News Editor Dennis Myers: “The West is Hurting,” “Millennial Decline,” and “Educating By Myth.”

The quality of these stories is very high, and they reflect so very well on your newspaper.

We readers are lucky to be able to read quality journalism such as these, and your publication is fortunate to have a staff which consistently outputs the degree of skilled reporting which is reflected in Myers’ stories.

Peter Chase Neumann

Raise standards for students
Re “Should ‘No Child Left Behind’ be repealed?” (Streetalk, Aug. 14):

Apparently a number of people want to repeal No Child Left Behind.

“… the way that the testing standards are not specific to Washoe County.”

If I graduate from a school in Washoe County, I had better restrict my job search to Washoe County because we’re special here. Right.

“… skills that they’re going to need to know for the real world.” Of course such skills would certainly include the queuing theory necessary to set up customer service and the study of infinite series necessary to understand the fallacies behind such critical thinking as Zeno’s Paradoxes. What, they don’t teach such things in the Washoe County schools?

To paraphrase, “The top class will now publicly succeed and the bottom class will now publicly fail.” However, the problem isn’t with success or failure, it’s recognizing who succeeds and who fails. If we just turn a blind eye to success and failure all will be well. Right.

Dropout rates are too high. ‘No Child Left Behind’ might exacerbate the problem. Translation, “We caint teach them there kids, nohow. If’n we gots ta grade ’em, they might leave.” Right.

“… robotic kids that can be successful on an exam that doesn’t measure quality of thought.” Exactly how does one go about measuring ‘quality of thought?’ If a child’s thoughts agree with the opinion of the teacher, obviously those are quality thoughts. If a child’s thoughts disagree with the opinion of the teacher, obviously the kid needs to be flunked until he/she can be trained to be a double-plus-good duck quacker. Right.

If you teach without testing, you betray the teacher and student. A test is feedback for the student who takes the test and feedback for the teacher who is teaching a class. If the test is bad, improve the test. If the test needs to be subjective, in order to measure the ‘quality of thinking,’ then allow for independent, double-blind review. If the child’s thinking is not of sufficient quality, the problem needs to be addressed at the level of the child. If the teacher’s thinking is not of sufficient quality, the problem needs to be addressed at the level of the unemployment line.

By the way, I failed every high school English class I ever took. The only reason that I graduated was that I was the National Merit Scholarship finalist.

A.J. Bima
via email

Melting pot missing
Re “Changing face of Greeks” (Join the Pack, Aug. 14):

They must be truly out of their minds. At UNR, you’ve got an African-American fraternity, an Asian fraternity, an African-American sorority. A Latina sorority. No wonder this society is in such big trouble.

In 1965, I was at UCLA, MA fraternity. It was a fraternity consisting of whites, Latinos, a couple of African-Americans, and two Asians in the same fraternity.

Anyone with any kind of spiritual connection knows the answer is not in division. Problems only get worse with separation. Time to wake up, kids.

James Martin

Deer Cory
Re “The table will be full in either case” (Left in the Lurch, Aug. 14):

Cory Farley’s complaining of deer eating his garden disgusted me. When you move into a neighborhood that borders or intrudes upon a wild animal’s habitat, you’d better be prepared to deal with the critters eating your vegetables. He should remember that he is the intruder in their habitat, not them in his. He clearly is under the impression that his trivial hobbies outweigh the right to life of wild animals, a sickening and far too common belief of the “civilized.” Suburban sprawl is the problem, not hungry deer.Alison Berreman Reno

Re “Reid votes against cloture,” (Upfront, Aug. 21):

We reported that a two-thirds vote is requited to cut off debate in the U.S. Senate. It actually requires a three-fifths vote.

In the Aug. 14-20, 2008, Back to School issue and Join the Pack supplement of the Reno News & Review, an image, designed by RTC designer Nancy Mues-Thomas, was inadvertently used several times in the regular issue and supplement. The image, which came from an RTC advertisement in the Join the Pack supplement, is of a snarling wolf. Our page designer mistook the image for an official University of Nevada logo. We regret any confusion caused by our error.