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Look deeper for causes of edcuation shortcomings
The two letters in the Jan. 26 issue of the newspaper both concern education: One states that “there are two ‘high-performing’ neighborhood high schools in Jefferson County,” one of which showed 44 percent of ninth-graders were not proficient in writing, and in the other, 53 percent of ninth-graders were not proficient in math. The writer of this letter apparently blames salaries and compensation for district employees for the problem; at least, Regan Benson cites no other reason for children’s lack of proficiency. I can think of a few, perhaps: dysfunctional families or just families who waste too many hours in front of some electronic device or other.
With all due respect to parents who actually care about their children’s education, there are too many who do not know or care what their child is taking in school, how she is doing, what is going on in the classroom, the hallways, or on the playground. How many adults bother to check up on homework? How many get that call from the school and had no idea that their little darling isn’t attending?
No teacher with 30 charges can possibly substitute for involved parents. No parent puts in as many hours working as teachers do, for a wage many parents would think was laughable. This isn’t to say that teachers are perfect or, after a few years of lazy children and lazier parents, aren’t tired out by the whole thing.
The other letter is a response to an article addressing violence in America, and Dan Griffiths states that “it should be no surprise when people act as though human life is worthless when the evolutionary doctrine taught to them from kindergarten to college indicates that human life is, essentially, worthless.”
One letter is concerned about our lagging numbers in educational achievement; the other claims that the teaching of evidence-based science to children is a cause of our society’s violence, presumably with the corollary that we should go back to pre-Darwinian teachings, even if they have no scientific evidence whatever to support them. Funny, I have found that Darwinism (evolution) teaches that all life is an essential part of an inconceivably complex and various web of millions of species; it teaches us that we humans are a part of something so wonderful that vocabulary can’t describe it. It is also the basis of all modern biology, and without it no life science could be taught in any way that makes sense.
We either must keep up with educational standards in India, China and Korea or fall to third-rate status in the world. We keep up with educational standards by enforcing the discipline on ourselves and our children that it takes to study hard and achieve. We also must teach the most factual information in each subject that is available to our schools. I would suggest that people look a little deeper for the root causes of America’s social problems and not just pluck a few from the weeds of their own prejudices.
Carolyn S. Bredenberg

Prosposed Ken Caryl biking trail will draw crowds, need maintenance
Build it, and they will come.
If certain members of the Ken Caryl Master Association board continue, they will build a magnificent mountain biking trail. The Trail Club that consists of a small number of Ken Caryl and Willow Springs mountain biker residents wishes to have a public mountain bike system cutting through sensitive habitat of Ken Caryl residents’ privately owned lands. I believe the ticket of Kane, Philips, Wellborn for KCRMA will act more fiscally responsible and not just to benefit the few.
The Trail Club says it will volunteer to maintain a new trail system. I think it’s just like a child who desperately promises to take care of the new dog and pick up the poo, but mom always ends up with the thankless job. Brace yourself, mama KC residents, because if you build it, they will definitely come — from all over metro Denver/Boulder.
 Patty Cavey
South Jeffco