The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


October 2, 2012

Readers' Forum 10-2 | Writer taken aback by scooter ‘ignorance’


Education leader should focus on students                                               After reading the article in The Tribune-Democrat on Sept. 24, “Teachers facing discipline,” written by Melissa Daniels, I am convinced that the Pennsylvania Department of Education, headed by Ron Tomalis, is living in the Middle Ages.

The article states that “easily over 100 teachers” are to be brought before the Pennsylvania education inquisition because they have been accused of manipulating test scores. Why? Because education funding is based on how well schools perform.

Has Tomalis ever spent time in a distressed school system?

A billion dollars was taken from education funding, which further promotes a feudal system of the “have” and the “have not” school districts.

What does Tomalis expect districts to do? 

How much assistance has Tomalis given to schools, attempting to answer “why” and what help is needed rather than sending his inquisition to lynch teachers?

Is Tomalis supposed to fix the system or to set up court? How many tax dollars have been spent by his staff playing “CSI”?

According to the article, the percentage of Pennsylvania students achieving proficiency under the current testing is not high enough, but testing is to become more rigorous and the bar raised even higher. I see it as setting up more districts and students to fail.

It is time for Tomalis to get off the statistics and testing crusade and concentrate on how to better educate students in the commonwealth.

Jacqueline Hockenberry


Catholic Democrats will defy church

There’s a saying that’s been around for generations: “You can fool all the people some of the time; you can fool some of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all the people all the time.”

You have to give the devil his due. President Obama has done a fantastic job of fooling some of the people all the time.

Abortion is on the Democratic platform. Catholic Democrats will thumb their noses at their church’s teaching and vote for Obama.

Same-sex marriages is on the platform; same comment. Freedom of conscience is being challenged; same comment. Three times the delegates to the Democratic convention refused to reinstate the name of God; same comment.

St. Peter denied Jesus three times. So did Democratic delegates. Peter repented. I wonder if the delegates ever will.

If Obama wins, it will be the Catholic Democrats who will make it happen.

One thing is obvious. The Democratic Party means far more to the Catholic Democrats than their church’s teaching.

For them, the Democratic Party is in the driver’s seat and the Catholic Church can go sit in the back of the bus.

If you think your grandfather would roll over in his grave if you voted for a Republican, let the man rest in peace – just don’t vote.

Obama will get plenty of votes from the atheists, Planned Parenthood and all the other abortion organizations, homosexuals, free-loaders and all those who the Democrats were able to raise from the dead.

Richard A. Ruth


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