Readers Write (May 15): Academic performance, racial equity, incarceration costs, stadium costs, metonymies

  • Updated: May 14, 2014 - 8:35 PM

Maybe it’s the kids and their bad habits. Maybe it’s the commitment from voting adults.

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ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

Suppose sufficient funding would help?

There’s a minor detail missing from the discussion of substandard academic performance (“Grad rates are up, but don’t be fooled,” May 14) — what’s being done to solve the problem. There seems to be an abundance of data and a consensus that students need to improve, so where’s the action? Claims that schools and education are a priority abound until an issue concerning actual voters takes precedence and programs are whittled further. Spectacular results are unlikely when there’s not enough funding to support regular classes, much less additional assistance.

Maybe it really is just a symptom of a generation of young adults with no foresight, addicted to anything with a screen. Maybe it’s the inevitable result of kids set up to fail by circumstances beyond their control and exacerbated by a lack of accountability. Policymaking is a complex process, and education isn’t the only important issue, but don’t expect students to do a better job when given poorer tools.

Alyssha Maes, Eden Prairie

 

RACIAL EQUITY

Healthy, intact families should be the first step

A May 13 letter writer’s observation that money is important in corrective work for “poor black kids” is well-taken. But more important still is preventive work involving the restoration of a healthy family life. What “poor black kids” (and others) need even more than money is caring, responsible love from a father and a mother.

James Swetnam, St. Louis, Mo.

• • •

Words like “building consensus,” “creating opportunity” and “creating understanding” are thrown about in attempts at solutions for “inequality.” Yet the inequality remains. We could sit and argue about the why and keep on blaming white privilege and historical discrimination. Or we can start to change the cycle of poverty. And we start by mentioning the unmentionable: sex.

This action, whatever your color, can produce children; children who are undoubtedly loved and cherished regardless of how they were brought into the world. But when children are brought into the world without the resources or relationships needed, they will, statistically, start out at a disadvantage. The solution is this: Stop having sex until you are committed to that partner for life — dare I say be married. Women: You have a sacred responsibility. Men: if you have a son or daughter — love the woman who brought them into this world for life and support those children for life, loving them and being a virtuous example.

I can already hear the scoffing and the rebuttals and exemptions to my suggestions. No, it won’t solve all society’s ills. But the statistics and research show it works.

Ryan Johnk, Eden Prairie

 

INCARCERATION COSTS

Spend some, save more with bad folks detained

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