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Ballot measure crucial to education

If the public education system in Florida was producing excellent results, there would be little need for Ballot Measure 8. Sadly, that is not the case.

Florida ranks 40th in K-12 education, 39th in ACT scores and 45th in SAT scores out of the 50 states. That’s the bottom folks and only six states have a lower graduation rate (U.S. News World Report).

Only 30 percent of Florida’s high school graduates are adequately prepared to attend college and more than 60 percent of Florida’s students read below grade level. Schools complain that English as second language students are lowering their results; however, other states with higher immigrant populations are producing better results than Florida, along with numerous charter and private schools.

Florida public school districts are rated A to F, and even if your child happens to be in an A-ranked school, you should know that the A ranking is on a curve and an A school in Florida would receive a much lower evaluation in most states.

The United States falters in K-12 education among the developed countries: 38th in math and science, and Florida is near the bottom in the U.S. How are our children to compete in a global economy when the education system in this state is so abysmal?

Numerous charter school organizations are producing amazing results in the most challenging inner- city populations across the nation and many of our charter schools here in Florida are also producing great results.

The teachers’ unions and school boards across the state are fighting for their power. They will do everything they can to prevent your child from leaving their mediocre and failing schools.

So, vote “yes,” for Ballot Measure 8 and give your child a better education.

Michaelon Wright, Marco Island

More military spending not needed

In recent Sunday editions of the Naples Daily News, there were two comments about NATO with contrary views and different conclusions from columnists Marc Thiessen and Martin Schram.

What they didn’t mention was why we should spend even more money on the military. Europe outspends Russia on defense four-to-one already. An increase to two percent of their gross domestic product as pledged by our allies by 2024 would increase that ratio to six-to-one.

When I read reports about the desolate condition of the Russian forces — of course, you have to read non-American sources — then it is really stunning that our current president and the GOP are so eager to increase defense spending to even more insane levels, not to mention that that money is coming from Chinese and Japanese investors in U.S. Treasury bonds.

The United States is outspending China and Russia together. It didn’t help in Crimea, it didn’t help in Ukraine and it doesn’t help in Syria and it still doesn’t make a difference in Afghanistan. It only helps the weapons manufacturers and the congressmen who have the factories of these companies in their districts.

That our clumsy president embarrassed himself and the leaders of our allies at every step of his tour doesn’t really make a difference, because his reputation is already at the lowest imaginable level. On a recent trip through seven European countries, I asked a German judge about President Donald Trump’s invention that there is an increase in the crime rate in Germany. Her short answer was, “So what? He is a clown who has to please his base so who cares what he is saying or tweeting.”

We can only hope that he will not get in a situation where he would need our allies.

Herb Krutisch, Marco Island

 

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