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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 24, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A Herald-Zeitung Sunday, April 24, 2011 FORUM Herald-Zeitung Serrmg New ftraunfrh and Comal County since IMS! Npw Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852, New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890 The two papers merged m 1957 and printed m both German and English until 1958 ecmor and Publisher ; Managing Editor I Circulation Director Business Manager Advertising Director Doug Toney Autumn Phillips Jeff Fowler Rosie Willingham Jamie Qregg \éf¥¿ M# J <£v / # <# /# ' 5WKER «ÇffcTCH. Covington: The Kansas City closer KANSAS CITY, Mo. — John Covington hesitated before becoming this city’s 2<>th school superintendent in 40 years, A blunt-talking African-American from Alabama, he attended the Broad Superintendents Academy in Los Angeles, which prepares leaders for urban school districts, and when he asked people there if he should come here, their response, he says, was: “Not no,’ hut Hell no!”’ He says they suggested that when flying across the country he should take a flight that does not pass through this city’s airspace. I low did this pleasant place become so problematic? Remember the destination of the road paved with good intentions. This city is just 65 miles down the road from Topeka, Kan., from whence came Brown v. Board of Education, the fuse that lit many ongoing struggles over schools and race. Kansas City has had its share of those struggles, one of which occurred last year when Covington took office with a big bang: He closed 26 of the district’s 61 schools. Kansas (;ity had fewer students but twice as many schools as Pueblo, ( olo., where Covington had been superintendent. I hirty-five years ago Kansas City’s district had 54,000 students. Today it has less than 17,000. Between then and now there was a spectacular confirmation of the axiom that education cannot he improved by simply throwing money at it. In the lOHOs, after a court held that the city was operating a segregated school system, judicial ( aesarism appeared. A judge vowed to improve the district’s racial balance by luring white students to lavish "magnet schools" offering "suburban comparability” and “desegregative attractiveness.” Anil he ordered tax increases to pay the almost $2 billion bill for, among other things, an Olympic-size swimming pool, a planetarium, vivariums, greenhouses, a model United Nations wired for language translation, radio and television studios, an animation and editing lab, movie editing and screening rooms, a temperature-controlled art gallery, a 25-acre farm, a 25-acre wildlife area, instruction in cosmetology and robotics, field trips to Mexico and Senegal, and more. Neither test scores nor the racial gap in academic achievement improved, and racial imbalance increased. GEORGEWILL George Wilis e-mail address is [email protected] Today, African-Americans are 28 percent of the city’s population and 63 percent of public school students. And Covington (“We’re not an employment agency. We are a school district”) has survived the tumultuous process of closing schools. He won the support of a narrow majority on the elected school board Except for one incumbent board member who ran unopposed, all those candidates in the next election who had opposed the closures were defeated. Now what? He wants more money, but in Missouri 70 percent to 75 percent of dollars for schools are local dollars, and the last increases of Kansas City property taxes were the ones the judge ordered two decades ago. There has been no ballot measure to raise taxes since 1969. Ib find what he calls “highly effective” teachers, Covington is seeking help from Teach for America. This year he has 39 of its teachers. For next year, he wants 150 more, which would make them more than 13 percent of his teachers — one of the highest percentages of any district in the nation. To achieve this, he has $3.2 million from such local philanthropies as the Hall Family Foundation and the Kauffman Foundation. He wants to abandon “the industrial model” of education, which is anachronistic for children “who come from the womb with a laptop in one hand and a cell phone in the other.” He says if someone who attended Kansas City’s schools in the 1950s were put in a classroom today, the only striking difference would be the ethnic composition of the class. Covington wants to blur, even erase, the distinctions between grades K through 12, teaching individual children at whatever level they are learning. He wishes the school day and year were longer, but this would require money, the scarcity of which shapes collective bargaining with the teachers union: “We give them language instead of money.” By language he means work rules. He says the resulting rules mean, for example, that some teachers will not stay five minutes after school for a meeting. "Ov erall,” he says delicately, “the relationship with teachers is somewhat volatile.” So, he is asked, is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walkei sensible in wanting to confine teachers’ collective bargaining to questions of salaries? Covington: “It makes sense to me.” Today in History Today is Easter Sunday, A/ml 24,2011. On April 24,1961, in the wake of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, the White House issued a statement saying that President John F. Kennedy “bears sole responsibility for the events of the past few days.” In 1792, the national anthem of France, "In Mar-stnllaise ”, was composed by Captain Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle. In 1800, (ringress approved a bill establishing the Library of Congress. In 1898, Spain declared war on the United States. In 1915, what ’s widely regarded as the start of the Armenian genocide began as the Ottoman Empire rounded up Armenian political and cultural leaders in Constantinople. In 1916, some 1,600 Irish nationalists launched the Faster Rising by seizing several key sites in IXiblin. (The rising was put down by British forces almost a week later.) In 1953, British statesman Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1960, rioting erupted in Biloxi, Miss., after black protesters staging a "wade-in" at a whites-only beach were attacked by a crowd of hostile whites. In 1970, the People's Republic of China launched its first satellite, which kept transmitting a song, “The Fast is Red.” In 1980, the United States launched an unsuccessful attempt to free the American hostages in Iran, a mission that resulted in the deaths of eight U.S. servicemen. In 1986, Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, for whom King Edward VIII had given up the British throne, died in Paris at age 89. Ten years ago: A New Zealand air force plane rescued four ailing Americans at an Antarctic research station. Reformer Junichiro Koizumi was chosen president of Japan’s ruling party, guaranteeing his election as the country’s next prime minister. The Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, that police can arrest and handcuff people for minor traffic offenses. Five years ago: Bombings killed at least 23 people at a beach resort on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. President George W. Bush said those calling for deporting all of the nation’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrants back to their home countries were being “unrealistic.” One year ago: The policy-setting panel of the International Monetary Fund pledged to address the risks posed to the global recovery from high government debt. Letters to the Editor Energy actions speak louder than words, or blame On April 20,2011, President Obama speaking to community college students and others in Virginia delivered on expectations and informed us that the villain behind our current energy woes was the boogey-man known as the dreaded "speculator." He said they (collectively) were responsible for driving gasoline prices higher. As an elected official and professor, I understand the economy and that federal reserve policy, foreign affairs and speculation do play a part yet, President Obama has only himself to blame for creating an atmosphere, of anti-energy (oil, gas and coal specifically), which in turn leads speculators to see future risks. According to the Institute for Energy Research, the administration withdrew 77 oil and gas leases in Utah, the administration ordered the cancellation of the Navajo Nation power plant that prevented the Navajo nation from reducing its 42 percent unemployment rate. President Obama visited Brazil and vowed to assist their county in creating jobs, all the while killing an estimated 13,000 jobs in the gulf region and 19,000 nationally by imposing a moratorium on offshore drilling in U.S. waters. The Congressional Research Service has stated that the United States has by far more energy resources in reserve than any other country in the world. In fact, we are the only country in the world that seriously restricts access to such resources. It is my humble opinion that the real goal should be to balance and blend the responsible utilization of this nation’s energy resources while maintaining a strong vibrant economy. The fact is any comprehensive energy plan must utilize all of the tools in America's energy toolbox — wind, solar, nuclear, domestic oil, natural gas, and yes, even clean coal. Gregory Parker Comal County commissioner Letter wrongly criticized farmer Re: The letter published April 10,2011 regarding loans made available to farmers due to drought. The writer made numerous errors in his analysis of the government providing loans to drought-stricken farmers and ranchers in time of need. These loans have to be paid back with interest when they mature. Locally, few loans are implemented because farmers are conservative in their ventures. Some might even think that the way the article was written, the Krafts were part of such fund programs. Just because the government declares a drought area as critical does not mean everyone participates. Often availability of loans is a news release used for political purposes. Ironically, the general public has little perception of what farmers and ranchers go through to provide a safe and abundant food supply. Statistically, one farmer provides food for 155 people. We think the American consumer wants a plentiful and safe supply of food instead of imported goods. It is in the consumer’s best interest to support the local family farmers. Let’s not be so quick to criticize a young farmer like David Kraft who has chosen to go into the difficult, risky profession of farmer producer as his life’s work. Melvin Kreusler New Braunfels A message to American ostriches I do not understand why the Dufresne family and so many Americans are so blind to see the truth in “centralized” economies? Marxism never worked in any country it has been implemented. Not in the Soviet Union, not in my country of birth, Cuba, or any other country. At this very moment in Cuba, after 52 years of socialism (and centralized economy) the Castro regime is going back to private enterprises. The government, in order to gain time, is fooling the population, allowing them to create “small business” (heavily controlled by the state), but does not allow any political freedom. The one party system is still in place. Today, Cuba is one of the lowest per capita incomes in the whole world. A university graduated professional, as an engineer, or a medical doctor, will have a salary of $360 Cuban pesos. The exchange to U.S. dollars is $24 C. pesos = $1 U.S. dollar. This makes a medical doctor’s salary of $15 dollars a month (about $0.50 cents a day). The Dufresne family, and the American left should move to this worker’s “paradise” and let us live in peace here. They will be very happy living like this, in a totally state-controlled life. If you want to learn what “socialism” after 52 years in power really is, visit, and click over any subject you want to know — state run health care, or the free education, etc. You will learn what is in store for the U.S A if the left take absolute control in our country. You "ostriches”, take your head out of the sand; the danger is real. Socialism is not the solution to the problems we face. Small government and free enterprise is the right way to go. Romelio Carta New Braunfels 1 United States ill Government PRESIDENT ■ Barack Obama 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500 SENATE ■ Kay Bailey Hutchison Russell Senate Office Building Room 284 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-5922 Fax: (202) 224-0776 Web: (Send e-mails through Web site.) SAN ANTONIO OFFICE 145 Duncan Drive, Suite 120 San Antonio 78226 Telephone: (210) 340-2885 Fax: (210) 349 6753 ■ John Cornyn Russell Senate-Hart Room 517 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-2934 Fax: (202) 228-2856 Web: (Send e-mails through Web site.) AUSTIN OFFICE: 221 West Sixth St., Suite 1530 Austin 78701 Telephone: (512) 469-6034 Fax: (512) 469-6020 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 600 Navarro, Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 224-7485 Fax: (210) 224-8569 CONGRESSMAN ■ Lamar Smith Rayburn House Office Building Room 2409 Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225 4236 Fax: (202) 225-8628 Web address: (Send e-mails through Web site.) SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 821-5024 Fax: (210) 821-5947 ■ Henry Cuellar 1404 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-1640 Fax: (202) 225-1641 Web address: SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 615 E. Houston St. San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 271-2851 Fax: (210) 277-6671 GOVERNOR HOW TO CONTACT Texas Government iiiliiliiiiilu ■ Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 P.O. Box 12428 Austin 78711 Telephone: (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512) 463,1849 STATE HOUSE ■ Doug Miller EXT E 1.216 RO. Box 2910 Austin TX 78768-2910 Telephone: (512) 463-0325 Fax: (512)463-5896 ■ John Kuempel Rm. CAP 3N.06 Austin TX 78701 Telephone: (512) 463-0602 STATE SENATE ■ Jeff Wentworth 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 925 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 826-7800 WHILE IN AUSTIN: Telephone: 888-824-6984 E-mail address: [email protected] NEW BRAUNFELS CITY COUNCIL 424 S. Castell Ave. P.O. Box 311747, New Braunfels, TX 78131-1747 (830) 221-4000 ■ Mayor Bruce Boyer [email protected] Telephone: Extension 4507 ■ Dist. 1 Councilor Richard Zapata rzapata @ Telephone: Extension 4501 ■ Dist. 2 Councilor Mark Goodner [email protected] Telephone: Extension 4502 ■ Dist. 3 Councilor Mike Ybarra mybarra @ Telephone: Extension 4503 ■ Dist. 4 Councilor Sandy Nolte [email protected] Telephone: Extension 4504 ■ Dist. 6 Councilor Kathleen Krueger [email protected] Telephone: Extension 4505 ■ Dist. 6 Councilor Steven Diqges [email protected] Telephone: Extension 4506 Comal County Commieaioners' Court 199 Main Plaza, New Braunfels (830) 221-1100 ■ COUNTY JUDGE SHERMAN KRAUSE [email protected] Telephone: (830) 221-1105 ■ PCT. 1 COMMISSIONER DONNA ECCLES0N [email protected] Telephone: (830) 221-1101 ■ PCT. 2 COMMISSIONER SCOTT HAAG [email protected] Telephone: (830) 221-1102 ■ PCT. 3 COMMISSIONER GREG PARKER [email protected]! Telephone: (830) 221-1103 ■ PCT. 4 COMMISSIONER JAN KENNADY [email protected] Telephone: (830) 221-1104 ffi'f SS ;