Courier Letters to the Editor 7-16-14

Wake up, SC residents

Dear Editor,

The article about the fish in South Carolina lakes being unsafe for human consumption is appalling.

Our lakes are still polluted, and our rivers still have contamination from waste. We have a toxic mess to clean up, and what is our governor doing about the problem? Nothing.

Before Nikki Haley became governor, she attended a conference hosted by ALEC. At this conference there were workshops on how to write legislation to bypass the EPA regulations so industries can dump more waste into our environment.

We can expect nothing from her, and our two senators were endorsed by the American chemical industries, so forget them.

People of South Carolina, wake up.

The GOP wants to do away with the EPA and its regulations that protect our air, water and land. Republicans will tell you the regulations cost people’s jobs, but that is bunk. They don’t want to tell you regulations will cut into their corporate profit margins. They will tell you the industries will police themselves.

Look at their track record — if they were policing themselves, then why are there PCBs in Lake Hartwell?

So do you want to be like China, where their cities are so polluted you have to wear a mask to go jogging in the mornings and their rivers are big cesspools of toxic waste? Or do you want a South Carolina where you can breathe and lakes you can boat, swim and fish in without needing a tetanus shot if you fall into the water?

It’s your choice in November.

Larry Allen


EOC late on Common Core review?

Dear Editor,

Why is the Education Oversight Committee (EOC) just now asking for public input on a review of the Common Core Standards? They have published a link for public input, requesting your feedback.

Common Core Standards were adopted in 2010 and have been in place three years now, doing psychological damage to the young child with developmentally inappropriate standards and they wait until now — now, after we the people and the legislators have killed Common Core Standards this past legislative session? Now?

Common Core Standard Initiative is copyrighted, so it is illegal to “tweak” them — but yet our EOC is asking through a survey how we should change it?

We should not even be considering Common Core Standards as a foundation for the rewrite. We should only be looking at our last S.C. developed standards and looking at other quality standards developed by states that did not sign on to Common Core. We should be seeking advice from the two people who refused to sign off on the validity of Common Core — that would be Sandra Stotsky, who is an expert in standard development in English/language arts, and James Milgram, who is an expert in standard development in math.

We should not even look at standards which were not developed by experts in South Carolina and we should not even be looking at CCS due to the fact that not a single early childhood development specialist served on the committees who wrote and validated these standards.

It seems as if Dr. Mick Zais is truly trying to do what is right by we the people and not even consider Common Core Standards in the rewrite process. However, the EOC is undermining what he is trying to do. Dr. Zais was elected by we the people. Melanie Barton and Dana Yow of the EOC were not elected to their positions.

Yow, the Education Oversight Committee spokesperson, said in a Charleston Post and Courier article “People can go into every single standard and say what they think should change. The EOC will make formal recommendations to the State Board of Education and the (department of education) as the process continues.”

She was basically saying “We don’t care what the citizens of S.C. want and we don’t care what the elected officials want. We are going to keep Common Core Standards as our foundation and ‘tweak them.’”

They obviously haven’t seen the copyright laws on CCSI. This copyright clearly states the use of the standards can only be used in full only for supporting the standards. If you are asking people to edit them or change them, then that is not supporting CCSI and in my opinion is in violation of copyright laws.

Isn’t the S.C. Department of Education in charge of rewriting the standards? Why is the EOC overstepping its powers?

Here is the link for the copyright of CCSI —

Johnnelle Raines