Raising children with cultural ties
People want to know who they are and where they come from. The use of genealogy websites like Ancestry.com and computer-assisted language learning software like Rosetta Stone is on the rise as adults today search for information about their family history.
It costs money and it takes time, but people care enough to do it anyway. But how much easier could we make it for our children if we just teach them from the beginning?
As a child, speaking a second language and becoming accustomed to ethnic traditions is natural and easy, without the trouble of language courses and hours of research. But the truth is that children generally don’t recognize the value in learning a second language and in learning about their family’s cultural background; by the time they are old enough to appreciate these things, it is much more difficult for them to do so.
Because of this, it is up to the parents to decide whether or not they want to raise their children with strong cultural ties and knowledge of their family history.
For adults who don’t speak a second language already, it may not be feasible to raise a bilingual child, but there are other things you can do.
Learn how to cook an ethnic dish or sit down with your grandmother and listen to some old family stories. Look up some cultural holidays and start a new tradition to share with your children. Giving children cultural ties is an invaluable gift that can help them to have a better appreciation for who they are and where they come from. It may take some effort and dedication, but your children will thank you for it in the future.
State is shortchanging Philadelphia schools
Jerry Perese’s letter shows he needs a little more math instruction than he received at Drexel U. He ignores that:
1. The state cut the per-student rate for aid to Philadelphia schools by $1,000.
2. Pennsylvania is the ninth-worst state in the nation for its contributions to education.
3. Since 2011, the school district cut its personnel by 28 percent, while enrollment was down only 18 percent.
4. Perese doesn’t like how the district spends its money, but does he know that one-third of its budget is spent on charter schools and debt costs?
5. Teachers are being asked to cut pay by more than 10 percent and benefits by more, yet make less than suburban teachers, for a job that is more challenging.
6. He argues Philadelphia’s district is failing, but neglects to note the many successful magnet schools, and the failures of many charter schools.
7. Every other school board in the state can levy taxes to meet its costs, but Philadelphia may not.
8. Philadelphia schools are run by the state, so the state bears responsibility for any of their failures, as well as for appropriate funding.
9. Philadelphia per-pupil spending is $2,000 to $3,000 less on average than surrounding districts.
10. As I understand it, Philadelphia pays more taxes to the state than it receives back in state aid, so the 18 percent of the education budget that he states goes to Philadelphia is irrelevant.
Edward S. Marks
Youth sports group thanks candidate
The Bustleton Bengals would like to thank Danny Alvarez, candidate for district attorney, for donating tickets to the Temple football game to our youth organization.
Good luck, Danny, on the upcoming election.
I agree with term limits
Joe Orenstein’s recent letter to the editor is spot on. I have been calling for term limits since the Truman administration. Joe calls for a maxmum of eight years. I suggest 12 to 16 years. Many states have term limits including Ohio, which mandates a 16-year maximum. Joe made excellent points when speaking to protracted vacation time. Unfortunately, scandalous behavior will be with us until the end of time. Some things we cannot control. On a positive note, it was a pleasure to see Weiner and Spitzer defeated in New York. The electorate spoke! “We don’t want perverts elected to public office.”
Adding to Mr. Orenstein’s letter, I suggest that we jettison all forms of patronage jobs. Folks desiring public service jobs should take a civil service exam or compete with party loyalist in a fair and observed manner.
Finally. A two-year term in the state House and Congress is ludicrous. One year of campaigning. One year of work does not bode well with the electorate.
John T. Fritz
Seth Williams must go
Since Seth Williams was elected district attorney, it seems that every time I hear news about the DA’s office, it is another embarrassing story of mismanagement, wasted resources and political cronyism.
While our city schools barely have enough money to start the year, Seth Williams thinks it is appropriate to pay top-dollar salaries to event planners and other unnecessary staff rather than use that money to prosecute criminals who are terrorizing our city.
Seth Williams has completely failed to investigate political corruption in the Sheriff’s office and in City Hall. He has even been accused of racial discrimination regarding the hiring of prosecutors.
But the straw that broke the camel’s back is the plea deal he offered to two cold-blooded murderers.
Shane Kelly was killed while walking to his Fishtown home with his girlfriend during a botched robbery attempt. Instead of prosecuting the murderers to the fullest extent of the law, one of them will be eligible for release in 12 years.
This is an absolute disgrace, and demonstrates Seth Williams is not capable of protecting our city, and cannot be trusted.
Bold ideas to balance school district budget
To the members of the Central High School Home and School Association, let me state the following: your pleas for more funding from the city and state are falling on deaf ears. You must face a doomsday scenario.
So what can you do? Here are a few suggestions you might want to consider. Close all school cafeterias. Let the parents feed their kids. Increase classroom size to 40 pupils, and before you teachers start whining and complaining, let me say I grew up going to school with more than 40 pupils per class and we were the last great generation.
Next, you should tell Gov. Corbett you are willing to take a 15-percent pay cut and pay health insurance costs to the same degree that the state legislators do. All this will go a long way toward solving the funding crisis.