The MGH Report

Michael G. Haran, Proprietor

MISSING THE POINT

Posted by on Feb 13, 2014

Letter to the Editor

Progressive pedagogy

Santa Rosa Press Democrat

February 10, 2014
EDITOR: Understandably, an official of the Institute of Progressive Education and Learning, Michael Haran, believes that progressive pedagogy should play a strong role in schooling (“The value of common core standards in school,” Close to Home, Thursday). Less clear is why he would insist Common Core should impose progressive pedagogy on all children, despite individual differences that leave some children more in need of structured instruction than others.

Perhaps Haran really believes that governors of the 50 states gathered under the aegis of the National Governors Association and voted for progressive uniformity via Common Core. But that did not happen. The National Governor’s Association’s permanent bureaucracy, the Center for Best Practices, selectively gathered theorists to draft the Common Core curricular guides, drawing on heavy funding from the federal government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. No record exists of governors voting collectively for Common Core. Indeed, some states neither pay dues to the association nor participate in its proceedings.
Progress in education comes when state and local officials, and especially parents and teachers, are free to exercise choices and implement what is best for each child, as opposed to following a onesizefits-all scheme.

ROBERT HOLLAND

Senior fellow, the Heartland Institute Chicago

Response

Letter to the Editor

2/10/2014

Missing the point

Editor: The letter to the Editor “Progressive pedagogy” (Robert Holland of the conservative think tank the Heartland Institute) totally misses the point of my article but this selective commentary is typical of the far right. It doesn’t matter who initiated the new Common Core Standards the point is that because we have a common culture in the U.S. we need to have a standard education system of core subjects such as math, English, history, technology and science for each K-12 grade. Beyond that each school district is free to include other course such as art, music, P.E., local history and social studies even if it includes creationism and the denial of climate change. Regardless of whether a child goes on to college or not we owe our children a decent education. It’s imperative to each child and it is imperative to American and no 19th century mentality is going to change that.

Michael Haran

Healdsburg

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DANGEROUS PATCH OF ROAD

Posted by on Sep 19, 2013

Letter to the Editor

Healdsburg Tribune – 9/19/2013

There is a stretch of road at the north end of Healdsburg that could just be the worst patch of asphalt in the entire county. It’s about a third of a mile long and it’s in between Simi Winery and Alexander Valley Road. The southbound lane is particularly hazardous to cyclist. As the road crests right at the Healdsburg City Limits sign it begins a deceptive decent. As a cyclist picks up speed he/she swerves to miss the hazardous road conditions looking for the smooth patches to prevent tearing up tires and being thrown to the ground. At the same time southbound traffic is also picking up speed and since the road is substandard with no shoulder it becomes very dangerous for the cycles trying to get out of the way of traffic.

The county has just paved the first two miles of W. Dry Creek Rd., two miles of Litton Springs and the two mile entrance to Geyserville. The River Rock Casino has repaved much of Hwy 128 but this little patch of road remains untouched. I think the reason that it hasn’t been resurfaced is that the city is waiting for the Saggio Hills development to repave the road however that development could be ten years away.

I was thinking that if one of the City council members is a cyclist they could ride the road to see how really bad the situation is but because of the city’s potential liability maybe the city attorney should to ride it.

I’m a fiscal conservative and I think the city should save money where it can but this stretch of road is a serious threat to cyclists. I think the city could wait for the Saggio Hills development to upgrade and repave the road if they would just put, say, a two foot wide strip of asphalt on the south bound shoulder of the road. The north bound lane is also a mess but because the cyclist is pulling a grade it is not as dangerous. So please, please, please help us cyclist and motorist out and Healdsburg just may get that “Cyclist Friendly” designation that was denied us.

 

 

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