Solving the problem seems out of reach
In all the talk about inequality in education, there’s none about inequality in funding (“Still, the gaps persist,” Sept. 22). Rich areas fund their schools richly. Poor areas fund their schools poorly. Clearly, this must be a top concern for the next Legislature.
ROBERT HUDNUT, Cottage Grove
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Sandra Vargas’ assertion that a baby of color is condemned to a life of limited opportunities ignores the obvious roles of family stability, class and educational background (“One Minneapolis: Here are several ways we’re tackling inequity,” Sept. 22).
If gaps are present in the early years of a child’s life because of have-or-have-not factors, it flies in the face of common sense to believe that children of any color and without advantages can catch up to children propelled by significant family, economic and educational resources. Children with privileges aren’t parked in neutral waiting for their less advantaged peers to catch up. Let’s not expect schools to solve a problem that is real but currently more bemoaned than understood.
BRUCE REMAK, Minneapolis
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Old data seems contrary to reality
Jason Lewis’ identification of a current “troubling trend in black criminal behavior” and “appalling levels of crime committed by young African-American males” rests on five-year-old crime statistics (“Can we admit black crime is a problem?” Sept. 15). But the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice tell us that the rate of violent crime is near a 40-year low and has been on the decline since the early 1990s. It seems safe, then, to assume that Lewis is writing from his own universe.
JONATHAN GELPERIN, Golden Valley
‘Conservative,’ ‘liberal’ labels are off-point
A Sept. 22 commentary (“Meet Pope Francis — a liberal”) fueled more of the “liberal vs. conservative” battle dividing the country, which is exacerbated by social media and talk radio. State and national politicians have seemingly taken their designations seriously and refuse to compromise for the common good.
The pope is much like the rest of us — “liberal” on some matters and “conservative” on others. We would all be better off if we first sought to understand others, rather than defining them by labels.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.