Letters to the editor
Britches hitched after superintendents comments
It just hitches my britches when I read another outrageous statement coming out of our superintendent, Dr. Consuelo Curtis.
On July 23, she was quoted as follows regarding the closure of Gales Creek Elementary in 2011: The district does plan to eventually reopen the school; thats why we kept the building.
If she had expressed that three years ago, maybe parents would not have organized a school board recall, removing two members. I have attended 14 school board meetings since 2007, and I never heard that the district planned to reopen Gales Creek. What I did hear is that the superintendent discovered after the decision that the deed states the property cannot be used for anything but a school. For the last three years, the whole building has served four special needs students and their educational assistants. Special recognition can be handed to Joyce Sauber and Kate Grandusky and others who valiantly fought to keep the library and gym open for kids a couple nights a month.
During these three years, after 35 students were pulled from our district, Gales Creek youngsters have had a half-hour bus ride twice a day, polluting the air and their lungs. A July 23 article in the Forest Grove Leader shows Dr. Curtis has no remorse for her big mistake, only self-pity: It was all a horrible memory that I dont want to keep reliving.
Unfortunately, that was not her biggest mistake. From 2007-2010, I reminded the board about ORS 337.275, which required that explicit phonics materials be available for teachers in the classroom. Its a free program that has been popular in private schools for the last 94 years because it works and its free after teacher training. Instead, she chose to lay off school librarians and close popular high school vocation classes to purchase a $600,000 sight reading program.
Two years later, OAKS scores were disastrous: three elementaries showed two-thirds of third-graders failing reading. These students will enter Tom McCall this year do you think theyve magically learned how to read? I doubt it! They are more likely set on a track to drop out before their graduation date of 2022. Many will join the hordes of special ed students who are not disabled in any way they just cant learn to read with sight reading. Its easy to see why weve had enrollment declines.
I feel the sooner we can get a new superintendent the better. This sad state of affairs can be seen around our nation. We are 23rd in world literacy, according to USA Today.
Management overlooks concerns at Senior Center
On July 29, I contacted Forest Grove City Council member Ronald Thompson regarding concerns pertaining to the Forest Grove Senior & Community Center.
I specifically indicated serious problems at the FGSCC: theft, assault, sexual exposure, volunteer resignations and concerns regarding Meals on Wheels management.
I received his response Aug. 1. He indicated that the city of Forest Grove owns the FGSCC building, but has no management oversight at the center. In other words, what goes on at the FGSCC is of no concern to the city council?
I also indicated to councilor Thompson that the problems center on the management team at the FGSCC, which has
done nothing to deal with the expressed problems. His response was to convey my expressed concerns to the FGSCC board president, Jeff Duyck, and the new executive director, Raean Johnston.
Question! Why would Thompson expect Duyck and Johnston to do anything when nothing was done previously? Perhaps he thinks the new executive director of the Senior Center will make a difference. After all, she is the wife of Forest Grove City Council President Tom Johnston.
Another question: Is this the result of nepotism, collusion, conspiracy or just good old politics? After all, according to council member Thompson, the city has no management oversight at the center.
Editors note: Daniel Klee is a former Meals on Wheels advisory committee chairman and a 10-year volunteer.
Ballot measure on drivers card deserves support
In November, Oregon voters will be asked to show their support for a bill that has already passed the Oregon Legislature with broad bipartisan support. The law will create a limited purpose and limited duration driver card for qualified residents. Applicants must provide proof of identity, proof of residence in Oregon for more than one year, and pass a written and behind-the-wheel driver test.
The Oregon Driver Card is especially important for immigrant families among us who are our modern-day neighbors. Too many immigrant families have been torn apart by the simple act of driving. The Oregon Driver Card will allow mothers and fathers to drive their children safely and legally to school, to doctors appointments, to family activities and community events without fear of separation.
This law will not solve the complex problems of immigration, but it is a step in the right direction and a gesture of goodwill toward those who are most in need.
The Oregon Driver Card is good for our neighbors, good for families, and good for Oregon. Lets keep our roads and our residents safe. Be a good neighbor in November: Vote Yes on the Oregon Driver Card.
Oregon Catholic Conference