The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


July 3, 2013

Readers' Forum 7-3 | Speak up, stop common core testing

— School districts in Pennsylvania are establishing a new set of proposed academic standards in math, biology and English – the Pennsylvania Common Core.

Students would have to pass algebra, biology and English literary tests in order to graduate.

Is this in the best interest of our children, grouping them into one class – those headed for college? What if your child doesn’t choose to go to college?

All children have strengths and weaknesses, talents and abilities in learning. What if they just can’t, for example, grasp algebra? I know I would not have graduated if I had to take an algebra test, because I could not grasp the concepts.

Would you have passed?

We know many people who have never used algebra or biology beyond their high school years, yet we want to make this a requirement to graduate!

This also has to do with money. If schools don’t participate in the common core standards, they will not receive certain funding allotted to this proposal. It also would mean the federal government, and not the state, will have more say in our local schools.

Children will also be put into a database, where information can be given to anyone government chooses to give it to, without permission.

Get back to the basics of education and then our children will learn and excel.

A group of House lawmakers is working to halt implementation of these standards. If these standards don’t make sense to you, please contact our leaders and let your voice be heard.

Roxanne Penrod


In America, a court guides us morally

Forty years ago, the highest court in the land redefined murder when it ruled on the legality of abortion. On June 26, it redefined marriage by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.

I grew up thinking humans were imbued with an innate sense of what is morally right and wrong by the supreme being.

How naive of me, because this country has a court of nine justices to guide us morally, and we call that court supreme.

Owen L. Hines


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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

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