New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 15, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
Wednesday, March 15,1995 ■ Herald-Zeitung ■ 5 A
Support for teachers is important for our children
The education of our children in Texas is extremely important. The teachers who educate our children arc also important. The present state salary scale does not make any provisions for salary increases beyond 17 years for teachers having a bachelor’s degree or beyond 15 years for those having a master’s degree. The state expects teachers to work for 13 or 15 years without any salary increase in order to reach retirement at 30 years. There is no such thing as a cost of living raise for teachers.
We are losing our most valuable teachers—those with the most experience in the classroom—because they have to pursue other careers that will continue to reward them financially up to retirement age.
Please support Texas teachers by asking your legislators to extend the state pay scale steps to include increases for the veteran teachers.
Respectfully submitted, Susan Haynes
Some random thoughts on a variety of issues
A few words that are cluttering my mind—
Maybe a solution to the container problem on the river. Supply collection bins or barrels above and on the river so people can float by and drop cans into them. Locations to be determined on the channels where people float and at places they have to portage or in front of falls. Recycle.
Maybe a solution to river flow: Schedule the flow rate to coincide with the float rate. Flows for float hours to be at the "perfect” cfs rate, lf flows need to be slowed down, do it late at night until early morning. Same thing with higher flows.
The Lone Ranger’s identity: lf Mr. Ranger was one of some killed and left for dead, the other bodies must have been found and identified. By deduction the name of the Lone Ranger would have been known. (Might have been Chuck Noms Sr.)
Be a big city, elect a mayor by popular vote and give him an appropriate job description. Petty is not pretty.
Herald-Zeitung—get SpellCheck on your word processor.
Jeff Lindley New Braunfels
Schools place too much emphasis on standardized test scores
As a group of parents, we are concerned about the emphasis placed on state testing. Through no fault of school districts or teachers, the Texas Education Agency continues to require higher and higher test scores on Texas Assessment of Academic Skills. The TAAS is a standardized test required of certain grade level students. We understand TEA wants this test for school accountability. We feel it has lost its direction and its focus.
Our positions are as follows:
1. We support the Texas PT A legislative position opposing performance-based funding. Monetary rewards presented to schools cause stress on administration, staff and students.
2. We oppose penalties/reprimands given to schools which do not meet required academic levels. Various reasons affect school achievement, i.e., at-nsk programs, economically disadvantaged, ESL, migrant, etc.
3. Use TAAS as a diagnostic/assessment tool only. With testing, educators measure a student’s strengths and weaknesses, and adjust instruction accordingly.
The emphasis seems to be on a student's score rather than his education. We have received reports of students with passing level grades being required to take tutonng to improve their TAAS scores. Tests are not always the measure of someone’s achievements or intelligence.
The TAAS puts unnecessary stress on children and teachers. Many people give expenences of children with stomachaches, headaches, unlimited crying and vomiting during the week of TAAS. Teachers feel the stress of higher class achievement as TAAS approaches and frequently, because of outside pressures, TAAS time dominates the daily curriculum.
According to the TEA, if a child tails one or more portions of the three-part TAAS test, he identified as an at-nsk student and charactenzed as one who frequently does not graduate from high school. Educators and parents know some children are not test takers. Pressure and anxiety to test frequently prohibit a passing score. Teachers and pnncipals know their students better than TEA, who do not seem to be allowing the schools to use then discretion in this matter. Control should not be applied by TEA but by local districts.
Time spent prepanng our children for the TAAS test could be better uti
lized by developing a wide range of educational experiences and activities. Many staff development, in-service training and site-based committees arc focused on TAAS score improvement, not necessarily better teaching. Teachers have children in classrooms who are on different levels of learning. ALL children cannot be expected to achieve a given percentage on a standardized test for various reasons unique to each individual. Imagine how frustrating this is to our dedicated teachers.
We plan to challenge concerned citizens that care about education to write their legislators and/or the TEA to implement positive change.
Sincerely, Brownfield Oak Grove Elementary PT A Brownfield, TX
Businesses selling alcohol to tubers should pay for law enforcement on the river
You’ve recently received several letters from supporters of drinking on the river who suggest that a ban on drinking would devastate the tourist industry. The people who have written must have businesses which profit from drinking. None have suggested the obvious solution to the problem: businesses that profit from drinking on the river should volunteer to donate money to Sheriff Bremer’s office. This money would be used to hire extra law enforcement for the river in the summer.
Some will say I am terribly naive, but I really believe that all these businesses will contribute. I’m sure they value what the river contnbutes to the community (and to them) and would be happy to help save the river.
Come on all you civic-minded businesses, prove me nght and these cynics wrong.
Sincerely, John K. Landry, DDS New Braunfels
A fairy tale with a happy anding
Here is a little fairy tale that I would like to share with you.
Once upon a time in a kingdom not so far away, there lived a large group of people that we will just call the “Happy People.” These "Happy People” were business owners, musicians, DJs,
and business patrons. The “Happy People” were peace-loving, hard-working people who liked to enjoy themselves at the local businesses. On any night they could go to the businesses, have a mug of alc or two, and listen to the musicians and DJs that were performing for the people (and also for a living). Many of the businesses were allowed to sell ale to the “Happy People” until 2:00 a.m. That was until a group of people we’ll call the “Unhappy People” decided that the “Happy People” were having too much fun.
The “Unhappy People” decided to take away the “Happy People’s” fun by making certain businesses stop selling ale at midnight (1:00 a.m. on Saturday nights) instead of the normal 2:00 a.m. closing time. This made the “Happy People” not so happy anymore. In fact, some of the people were just downright angry. Not to mention the fact that many of the business owners, musicians and DJs were losing great amounts of money and jobs because the people who used to be patrons were now going to other kingdoms to partake in the drinking of alc until 2:00 a.m.
The business owners tried to stop the “Unhappy People” from doing this. A meeting of the kingdom’s “Happy People” and “Unhappy People” took place. The “Unhappy People” already
had their medieval minds made up and decided they would not change their position. The kingdom became a dark, dead, empty place. The people (tourists) who had once come to the little kingdom stopped visiting. The kingdom was sure to fall into a black pit of despair.
Finally, much to the (what used to be) “Happy People’s” surprise, the “Unhappy People” decided to become “Happy People” because they had seen the error of their ways. The “Happy People” soon became happy again when the local businesses were allowed to sell alc until 2:00 a.m. as before. Then, as a sign of goodwill, the people who used to be “Unhappy People” apologized and bought all of the “Happy People” a mug of alc. They all lived happily ever after.
Mike Taylor Jr.
Music Maker Mobile DJ Service New Braunfels
I.R.S. Code discriminates against older Americans
So many older citizens just give their tax information to their CPAs or other tax preparers, I want to bring to the attention of every elderly person what the IRS has done to them if they receive monthly Social Security checks
and have money in any so-called “tax free” investment.
Look on page 19 of the “ 1994-1040 Forms and Instructions” booklet that you received from the IRS in Jan. 1995 that contains your income tax forms. You will see a “Social Security Benefits Worksheet.” Look on Line 4. This says, “Enter the amount, if any, from Form 1040, line 8b.” Now look on your 1040 form and you will see that this is “tax-exempt interest.” The elderly Social Security recipients arc the only persons in the U.S. who do not actually receive “tax exempt” interest. These people have to pay taxes on that money by adding it to their Social Security earnings. (These arc not “BENEFITS” —they arc “EARNINGS.”
This is not only ILLEGAL, but this practice by the Federal Government through the IRS is DISCRIMINATORY against people who worked all their lives and paid into their Social Security funds.
Every working person as well as all Social Security recipients should write their Congressmen and Senators about this, because all working persons now
will ultimately be in the same catego-^, ry as presently retired persons. IRS has been doing this for years, so in reality, they need to reimburse all Social Security recipients who have had to pay this illegal charge for past years. “Tax exempt” funds arc just what the government promised its pcc>-plc—really TAX EXEMPT.
Katharine C. Blackford New Braunfels
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Send submissions to: Herald-Zeitung Letters 707 Landa St New Braunfels, TX 7HI30 Letters may also he faxes to 625-1224
Please limit letters to 250 words. The Herald-Zeitung does not print anonymous letters. Include a name, address and daytime telephone number. Writers who have not had a letter published in the previous month are given preference.
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