Re: last week's story in the Lake Oswego Review, 'Change becomes a two-way street in the world of special education.'
This story did not discuss the student's right to TAG services as well as Special Education Services.
Under Oregon law, districts must identify students in the top 3 percent in math, reading or aptitude for TAG services and also students with the potential to perform at that level. They must use two pieces of information for identification including at least one nationally normed standardized test.
Parents have the right to nominate their own children for TAG testing in all grades (K-12), and to appeal if their children do not qualify. They also have a right to give input into the programs and services provided to their children.
Once they are identified as TAG, schools must provide these students with appropriate curriculum and instruction at their assessed rate and level of learning.
Many TAG students have other learning disparities, but often when their instructional needs are appropriately addressed, their behavior improves. Placement in a Special Education program or classroom does not trump the student's right to appropriate instruction at his/her level or rate of learning.
Milken deserves a presidential pardon
To The Editor:
As we close the George W. Bush chapter, rumors of traditional presidential pardons circulate.
One in particular is Michael Milken, the junk bond king of the eighties. In 1989, U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani charged Milken with 98 counts of racketeering and fraud under the RICO Act to which Milken ultimately pleaded guilty to six securities and reporting felonies. In addition to serving jail time, he was banned for life from the securities industry.
President Bush should indeed pardon Michael Milken. After his release from prison, Milken was diagnosed at a relatively young age with advanced prostate cancer. While personally battling the disease, he founded the Prostate Cancer Foundation which has grown to become the world's largest philanthropic source of funds for prostate cancer research. He developed a model which allows researchers an almost immediate access to research grants.
However, Milken imposed an important caveat. The researchers were required to share their results with others. Initially these scientists scoffed at the notion but since government funding was minimal and slow, they acquiesced. This funding model accelerated advancements in prostate cancer research and treatment unlike ever before and has since been adopted by other important medical research causes through another Milken organization called FasterCures, a Washington, D.C. based think tank.
We should all believe it is possible for some people to redeem themselves and Michael Milken has done that above and beyond the call of duty.
Think about the savings in paper
To the Editor:
How we can help our schools and environment?
4,305, the average amount of papers in handouts a student receives each year in middle school. This alone adds up to half a tree.
One may ask how someone created the number 4,305. Each student has seven periods in his or her schedule, and school takes up 205 day a year. Seven multiplied by 205 and than again multiplied by three (the average number of handout from each class each day) equals 4,305.
These statistics do not include the amount of spiral paper also used in the classroom. From these figures it is clear to see how paper can quickly add up and become expensive for both students and schools. Imagine if someone were to multiply 4,305 sheets of paper by the number of students enrolled in Waluga (573 students). The number comes out to an average of 2,466,765 sheets of paper. These numbers clearly display the over use of paper at Waluga Junior High School.
While the school does have an excellent recycling program, is that enough? Waluga, similar to many others schools, has the potential to become more sustainable if handouts and homework would be accessible online. Moving class work from paper to electronic forms would greatly benefit the environment.
For those students who do not have computers, they could have the option to come in before or after school to receive special handouts from teachers or have access to school computers.
Even if we give papers to the students who do not have Internet access, this will save Waluga Junior High the cost for paper and save the trees.
With our economy and global warming getting worse and worse, we need any help we can get.
Visualize the difference we can make if every school in the Lake Oswego School District, the state and the country saved paper. 2,466,765 sheets of handouts, an average of 308 trees a year from one school. What a positive effect this could have on us. (Note: this letter uses only averages).
Student at Waluga Junior High
Give a gift of kindness this year for those in need
To the Editor:
Lake Oswego has numerous events to be thankful for. We have good schools, caring families and people helping to make Lake Oswego a better town.
With Thanksgiving behind us, and the holiday season approaching, we have a lot to be blessed about.
Many of us wish for material possessions like more money, a better house, or the latest clothes. For others the wish is not based on things but on having a great holiday season without having to worry about putting food on the table, health or making ends meet. In this economy we all have to be there for each other.
Some of us will make it through this holiday season with many presents and no worries. For others in need we need to help, in our town or outside.
The best gift of all would be seeing those who are less fortunate than some of us with a smile on their faces and light in their eyes. Do something to improve their holiday season that will improve yours too with the satisfaction that you helped make a difference.
Donate old coats to a homeless shelter, volunteer at the local food bank or gives clothes to the Goodwill.
If everyone did something little it all would add up to make a big difference. Make a difference in other peoples lives to truly appreciate the holiday.
Give a gift of kindness this holiday season.
Students must learn to speak multiple languages
To the Editor:
I greatly appreciated the column written by Ms. Heymann (Citizen's view, Nov. 27 in the Lake Oswego Review).
I agree that every high school graduate in Lake Oswego should be fluent and proficient in at least two languages. Why? Because today's global economy is growing faster than we can keep up. Innovations in technology have helped us connect with countries and markets all across the globe. This means that children growing up here in Lake Oswego, face the challenge of competing with children living in India, Japan, Mexico, and other countries of our world.
So what can we do to prepare or children to compete and succeed in today's bustling world? We need to encourage, possibly even enforce, the teaching of second languages. Being bilingual has numerous positive effects on students. It can give you the ability to communicate with people you would otherwise never know! You will also develop an appreciation and understanding for other cultures.
Knowing two languages can help you immensely when traveling in foreign countries and you will gain a better understanding of the world around you.
Most importantly, it will increase job opportunities in careers where knowing multiple language is vital. Bilingualism is becoming more and more of a necessity in jobs related to health and human services, such as reporters, hospital workers, and those working in state offices.
To get into most colleges, at least two years of second language are required for admission. Unfortunately, a high percentage of students drop out of the second language program after meeting the requirements, and to me, this is a mistake.
The benefits of being bilingual, or trilingual are extremely great: You can learn about a new culture, communicate better with others, become more intelligent and open the doors to many jobs. Second language programs should be offered in all schools, starting at the elementary level, and students should be pushed to participate in them.
In the words of President-elect Barack Obama, 'You need to make sure your child can speak Spanish. You should be thinking about, how can your child become bilingual? We should have every child speaking more than one language.'
Student at Waluga Junior High School
Holiday challenge issued to help others
To the Editor:
As we enter this holiday season, we are all aware that although it is a time to celebrate, we also know that this is a very tough time for many in our community.
Never has the need for food boxes been greater. Others are wondering how they are going to stay warm this winter. This applies across our entire region, and sadly it is now impacting a much broader group of folks who have never before found themselves in this position.
So, Lightspeed Aviation would like to offer a challenge.
This year, each of us in the company received $200 in holiday cash with a very important string attached - we have to spend it on some worthy cause. As we've discussed and schemed about what each of us will do to have the biggest impact, we've already begun to experience true holiday joy.
Already we're seeing a multiplying effect as people hear about what we're doing and have offered their help.
This is where you come in. We're challenging you to do something similar, either as an individual or through your business. See how many people you can get to pitch in.
Let's all do all we can to truly make this a magical time.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at Lightspeed Aviation.
Editor's note: Because of a computer error, the following two letters were substantially affected in last week's Lake Oswego Review:
Civil discourse should be a priority in Lake Oswego
To the Editor:
In a recent presentation to the Lake Oswego Rotary, University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer shared his concern that the lack of civil discourse was having a negative impact on the political process at all levels of government. His comments have been on my mind as I have observed the consequence of anger and emotion generated by controversial issues in our community over the past several years.
Lake Oswego is blessed with an abundance of well-educated, successful professionals who have the ability and interest to contribute to the problem-solving process in city government. The challenge for our new mayor and the city council will be to establish a climate that encourages that participation. Considering all the important decisions that our city is facing we need to bring into play a collective intelligence from our community.
The key to the success of this effort will be our ability to communicate effectively with one another and with the city council. All of us have a responsibility in the communication process. How we speak and how we listen is critical. Anger and emotions block effective communications. City officials, our mayor and councilors must create an environment that allows and encourages open and timely communication. As we participate in the process we need to present our information and ourselves in a meaningful manner, without anger or hostility. (This is difficult when one is upset about an issue.)
I am proud to live in Lake Oswego and have the highest regard for all who make the effort to participate in the governing process. In our efforts to keep 'Lake Oswego Great' we must be able to address difficult issues with mutual respect for differing opinions and to communicate in a manner that is respectful to all parties.
Volunteers help to make this city great
To the Editor:
This Thanksgiving, take a little time to reflect on the gift of community provided by volunteer service. Consider your own contributions to this special place and its people. And look forward to ways you can support our community in 2009.
Nearly every community service, activity or event in Lake Oswego relies on volunteers. 2,000 volunteers provide services at the library and adult community center, at Farmers' Market and the many concerts and events in our parks, and at natural resource and habitat restoration projects.
Nearly 100 adults and teens serve on city boards, commissions and task forces. At least 200 volunteers support the activities of neighborhood and business associations.
Business, religious and civic associations mobilize volunteers to support beautification projects and provide social services. An army of volunteers and sponsors support the annual flower basket campaign, the Festival for the Arts and our Fourth of July celebrations.
Parents donate thousands of hours of support to our local schools. Our youth commit countless hours of training and practice to excel in sports, music and other interscholastic activities. Their parents donate significant time and money to ensure that Lake Oswego is well represented in competitions throughout the state and region.
We live in a beautiful city, made all the more livable by a caring community of volunteers. Give thanks to their efforts, and consider ways to add to their ranks in the coming year. Then, go back to the festivities, and remember to support the Lakers at PGE Park on Friday.