The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

79° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mailbag

    A ‘yes’ vote on Proposition 400 will prepare Tucson’s students for 21st century

    In order for our community to prosper, we must be able to attract and retain companies as well as the jobs and economic stability they bring with them. This requires a diverse workforce. In order for our community to compete in a global, 21st-century economy, we need to prepare our youth today. To develop the educational infrastructure, all of Pima County’s school districts have voted to support the creation of a Joint Technological Education District. This is just the first step among many future strategies. In the Nov. 7 election, our citizens will be asked in their specific school districts to approve Proposition 400, a JTED, and the minimal secondary tax to fund it. This new JTED will oversee high school career and technical education services in the county and allow districts to pool resources. While some school districts currently have a few of these courses, there is no comprehensive training system for Pima County students or a way to secure our share of state funding to pay for these courses. We can’t afford to wait any longer. We urge Pima County voters to strongly support the creation of a JTED and give our students a strong foundation in vocational education. It’s a sound investment in the future.

    Joe Snell
    president and CEO, TREO

    Kerry’s comments offensive

    In his recent comment, former presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., stated “”you know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”” I am a Vietnam veteran (1969-70) and am now a full-time student at the UA. I did not support John Kerry for his presidential run in 2004 because I believed him to be dishonest about his role in Vietnam and afterwards, as claimed by the Swift Veterans for Truth organization. I was a trustee on the board of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War in 1971 at Kent State University following my four years in the U.S. military. I left the organization in disgust from the lies and deceit of John Kerry, the founder of VVAW, at that time. John Kerry is a self-serving and deceitful politician. It is my firm opinion that he owes the people of the United States an apology, again!

    Ken Miller
    junior majoring in Judaic studies and anthropology

    Drake outshines Grijalva on endorsement qualifications

    The endorsements made by the Arizona Daily Wildcat said how they “”tried our hardest to look beyond party lines”” yet endorsed only Democrats for the 2006 election. This is fine if they were the best candidates for their priority issues of education and immigration, but they are not – certainly not Rep. Raul Grijalva! With regards to education, he strongly supports affirmative action in admission, which can be a huge barrier for those students looking into graduate schools and further education. He does not support the equal-opportunity scholarship that would allow families to use vouchers to go to a better school, and he does not support rewarding teachers with merit pay when teachers in Arizona have the highest turnover rate in the country!

    You highlighted that Grijalva is committed to make higher education accessible to his constituency by increasing the amount of aid given in federal Pell Grants. Well, so does Ron Drake! Drake does this and offers more support for teachers and families with the equal opportunity scholarships.

    What’s even worse is Grijalva’s stance on immigration. Though the Wildcat only said he had a “”firmer footing”” and never really addressed our current congressman’s stance on immigration, he is in support of amnesty to the illegal immigrants already here in the United States. Ron Drake is committed to making sure that our border is secure first and foremost, and then is committed to allowing a better path to citizenship. The Wildcat made the No. 1 issue in this election education and the No. 2 issue immigration, yet selected the candidate who is the weakest on both of these hot-button issues. Before voting, I ask you to make sure to not let the Wildcat “”finish the debate”” and get to www.vote-smart.com and decide for yourself. Arizona needs a change, and if we want to improve as a state we will properly support education and have a rational immigration policy.

    Sara Pat Badgley
    family studies and human development sophomore

    Exposure to all types of material beneficial in education

    Matt Stone’s column Monday (“”An academic bill that bites””) frames an important issue: the freedom of faculty to present controversial material in the classroom. A college education is about challenging one’s beliefs with new ways of looking at the world. Faculty members need to be able to select material that is controversial in order to present students with a variety of ways of thinking about issues.

    I am reminded of my experience teaching Introduction to Sociology. Several years ago, I had a student who objected to reading the text because it talked about Karl Marx in the theory chapter. Even worse, the book used dialectical materialism as one of the four theories that was used systematically in each chapter to explore the content-specific areas of the course. I told the student, politely, that he could or could not read the text, but that the exams would be based on understanding all the theoretical perspectives of the text. He hung in there.

    A year or so later, he came to see me. He told me that as a physics student, he had not believed that he needed to be exposed to “”communist ideas.”” But now he was glad that he knew what the theory was all about because he could engage in meaningful and informed discussions about different political and ideology systems, whereas most of his friends relied only on conservative messages that they repeated over and over. The Soviet Union was falling apart and the news was filled with stories about changing economic and political systems. Of course, not everyone gets it in the end, but that remains my inspiration for teaching.

    As Marie Curie reminds us, “”Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.””

    Patricia MacCorquodale
    dean, Honors College

    Challenge also takes thought

    I am writing in response to Damion LeeNatali’s Friday column, “”I challenge, therefore I am.”” To begin, you quote Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal, “”One of the byproducts of challenge is that you don’t have to think very much.”” However, this is not so much a consequence of challenging, but of following. In order to challenge an opinion you must think something is wrong with that opinion, such as I do right now. You seem to just be following the ideals you have read in the Wall Street Journal.

    You then continue to mention some of these “”so-called ‘challenges,'”” yet you fail to consider what they might be saying, dismissing each challenge with a single piece of information. As for Rosie O’Donnell’s views on gun control, you cite the Second Amendment; well, let me ask you this – would you feel safe living in a house that has had no structural reinforcement since it was built over 200 years ago, only additions put onto it? I know I wouldn’t. To my understanding, we now have a better knowledge of physics, adverse forces, and architecture then we did 200 years ago. So why would I build with the same materials?

    I can understand your blind patriotic support of the government and its policies, but yet when you mention single-sex education, you point to “”studies,”” and you seem to forget about a certain ruling made in this country that separate is not equal. Maybe had you spent some time trying to understand what the logic was behind these challenges, you might have not just blindly followed “”the establishment”” just because it exists.

    Next time, instead of just shaking your head as you pass by the picket line, go up to one of them and asks them why they feel so adamantly about their cause that they are out there supporting it. I bet you they have thought about it and not just followed the “”campus crazies”” there.

    Sean Pabst
    political science senior

    More to Discover
    Activate Search