Letters to the Editor

Readers views: Antiquated education system must change + Electric co-op lawsuit is unwise

Antiquated education system must change

Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, (2010): “What do I mean when I talk about transformational productivity reforms that can also boost student outcomes? Our K–12 system largely still adheres to the century-old, industrial-age factory model of education. A century ago, maybe it made sense to adopt seat-time requirements for graduation and pay teachers based on their educational credentials and seniority. Educators were right to fear the large class sizes that prevailed in many schools. But the factory model of education is the wrong model for the 21st century.”

He’s right, as are several others who are advocating a change in our education model from a “lock-step” method to a system of merit. We have moved in that direction, slightly in the form of Advanced Placement testing and early enrollment in community colleges, but we have far to go. The internet and new education software have made it more possible than ever to implement a merit-based system where students are free to move ahead at their own pace and graduate early.

All that being said, lock-step teacher pay increases should also be based on a merit system, rewarding teachers more for personal achievement and advancement than for longevity. Our system of education is antiquated, dating back to the early 19th century and is in dire need of changing to reflect the changing worldview for a more educated and prosperous 21st century. Mississippi has a chance to change the compass heading and be a force for change.

Adelbert Wilber Jr.


Electric co-op lawsuit is unwise

I am a retiree of Coast Electric Power Association (CEPA). Having just read the Sun Herald article titled “Electric co-ops are holding onto millions that belong to Coast customers, lawsuit says,” I hope the lawyers in Jackson will consider dropping their lawsuit.

I well remember 1969’s Hurricane Camille. It was deadly, devastating, catastrophic, beyond words of any description. And it took years of hurricane recovery before CEPA was once again, proudly, able to issue Capital Credits checks to its Member-Owners.

CEPA is to be commended on its percentage of reserves. CEPA is audited annually and is financially above-board.

There are no man-made laws governing Mother Nature. The dog that came my way during desperate times is more than a “hurricane rescue” dog — her owners died in Katrina in 2005. And there is no law to limit Mother Nature to only one storm in a season.

I would like Judge Louis Guirola Jr. to know that Coast Electric Power Association reserves could cover a “named” storm. But what about the year after CEPA’s reserves are hit with two named storms — or more?

Rural electric cooperatives cover a vast territory. Territory that is annually struck by flood, tornado and unnamed storms, also not governed by man-made laws.

The Member-Owner struck by disaster should not also be struck by increased electric rates caused by reserves depleted through an unwise lawsuit.

Martha Van Peski

Long Beach

Glad Trump is president

I have read the posts by those who dislike our president and have listed what I believe are the most common complaints: His father gave him a million dollars, he treats illegal immigrants terribly, he has a massive ego, he isn’t diplomatic, he is a racist, homophobic who hates women. OK, I get it. Now let me rebut.

Who would turn down a “get started” monetary gift from a parent if they could afford it? Our southern border has been dysfunctional for decades, don’t blame that on him. What politician doesn’t have a huge ego? He was lauded by the NAACP, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton until he ran for office. If he had affairs and tried to cover them up, so did Clinton and Kennedy(s).

On the oft-ignored plus side, the economy is booming, unemployment is incredibly low, NATO members are paying more of their share and although an agreement with North Korea has not been realized they are at least talking without us giving them money and/or oil as an incentive.

I may not want President Trump as a neighbor but I’m glad he’s our president.

Chuck Burkhard

Ocean Springs