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Lertters to the editor

November 17, 2005

School board not making the grade



To the editor:

As I opened the Neighbors section of The Herald-Mail, I was greeted with the first marking period honor roll names for E. Russell Hicks Middle School. I reviewed all the names, hoping to recognize a friend or neighbors child (our own children left the school system in 1995). Alas, I didn't identify anyone.

I noted with admiration that about 37 percent of all the students in the school are on the honor roll. The Board of Education's goal prominently identified in the master plan for Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) is that 52 percent of all students perform at grade level. This means only 15 percent of the remaining students need to pass the Maryland State Achievement (MSA) tests for the BOE and Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan to declare "Job well done and kudos for all."

However, the current 67 percent MSA performance on the reading and math tests for E. Russell Hicks - the highest score of the last three years - still means that only two out of three children understand and have mastered grade level concepts.

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The BOE master plan goal of requiring only one student in two to have essential understanding of their work is the equivalent of me, as a parent, saying to my child: "You can get C or better in half your subjects and an F in the remaining half and I will be happy with how well you are learning." For this, the BOE deserves an F. Passing these students on to high school (mainly South Hagerstown and Williamsport) unprepared deserves another F.

Tom Janus

Hagerstown




International gun ban may be at hand



To the editor:

I agree with the recent letter, "Threat from within," about what is now going on within our own country with the ACLU, liberal court judges and the United Nations.

And all you hunters, target shooters and those who believe in our rights of the Second Amendment should know the following: On July 11 to 15, at a conference at the U.N. in New York City, gun-ban groups drafted a global bill, "Treaty on Small Arms," for ratification at the U.N. next year.

If they succeed, this treaty could sit for days or years, waiting for the right moment when international pressure forces a future U.S. president and U.S. Senate to sign it and destroy your Second Amendment rights forever.

Six of the "free" countries pumping money into this bill are Great Britain, Sweden, Netherlands, France, Japan and Belgium.

They joined with billionaire George Soros, who spent $26 million of his own fortune to try to elect Sen. John Kerry to the White House last year. Soros and the above six countries have put tens of millions of dollars into the U.N. gun-ban campaign.

So all you hunters, sport shooters and those who want a weapon for self-defense, make sure who you vote for and make sure U.S. Congress and the White House stand firmly opposed to this international gun ban and that none of your tax money is used to support it. Happy hunting in 2005.

Harry Himes

Williamsport




Silent majority must speak up in 2005



To the editor:

The majority has been silent too long. It's time that we let our voices be heard. Let us not be distracted with a few voices who are against what made this country great. Think about this, you don't have to pray; you don't have to pledge allegiance; you don't have to attend services that honor God. But, please don't try to keep those who do want to do right from doing it. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game. It's not like somebody is up there reading the Book of Acts. They're just talking to a God to grant safety to the players on the field and for the fans going home. But someone says, "Yes, but it's a Christian prayer." Yes, and this is the good old USA, a country founded on Christian principles. Look at the phone book folks, Christian churches out number all others better than 200-to-1.

Someone says, "but what about the atheists." What about them? Nobody is asking them to get baptized. We're not going to pass the collection plate. They can take their ear plugs along. Or visit the concession stand. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Now a few people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying. Unfortunately, one or a few will object and try to tell thousands what they can and cannot do.

God bless one and all, especially those who denounce Him. God bless America. In spite of all her faults, America is still the best country in the world. Also bless our service men and women who are fighting to protect our rights and to pray and worship God.

May 2005 be the year that the silent majority is heard and we put God back at the foundation of our families and institutions.

Bob Mauck

Hagerstown

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