By any measure, math scores stink

To the editor:

Does James Haug work for your newspaper or the Clark County School District? I’m referring to the favorable way he presented abysmal test results (“Math test challenges spur effort,” Monday).

In Algebra 1, 11 percent of the students passed compared to 9 percent in the fall; in Algebra 2, 22 percent passed compared to 14 percent last fall; in geometry, 44 percent passed compared to 12 percent last fall; in middle school, 56 percent passed compared to 47 percent last fall; they “did better in pre-algebra,” according to Mr. Haug, with 29 percent passing compared to 22 percent last fall.

Is there a subject or teacher in the school system where scores of 11, 22, 44, 56 or 29 percent would be considered a passing grade? Now everything is relative, and the slight improvements can be argued as postitive.

But the “system” deserves a resounding F-. The test results are just now telling Superintendent Walt Rulffes “what we needed to know.” What planet does he live on when he’s not attending conferences?

What is pre-algebra? Does Assistant Superintendent Jhone Ebert, or the first-grade teachers for that matter, not know or realize that algebra is being taught in the first grade? (What is the difference between 1 + 1 = 2 and X = 1 + 1?) What good will a fourth year of math do if the students can’t pass the first year?

I go back to an earlier letter of mine that you published May 23 — stop the social promotion! If you can’t pass “pre-algebra,” you certainly don’t belong in Algebra 1.

Another thought: When I was in elementary school, we had “traveling” art and music teachers. Why? Because our regular teachers were not artists and musicians. Maybe it’s time to look at using “traveling” mathematicians to teach this critical life skill. Why? The regular teachers aren’t mathematicians and/or don’t appear to be capable.

William M. Mosley


It takes a parent

To the editor:

In Friday’s letters, Martin Elge wrote “if we stop heaping the burden on only those who have decided to continue this nation’s legacy by having children and begin to acknowledge that their education is our collective responsibility, we might get somewhere.”

I don’t think I have ever read a more infuriating comment, nor one that could be further from the truth. Sadly, the burden for raising children is no longer on the parents who brought them into this world. Each and every day we hear another call from someone demanding more tax money from society because “it’s for the children.” More money from singles, seniors and business, but never once a call to raise taxes on parents. Instead, government actually showers tax cuts on those who produce more children.

Here’s a memo to those such as Mr. Elge, who perpetually have their hands out: It does not take a village to raise a child, just a parent!

Rob LoBue


Open the interchange

To the editor:

I enter Lake Mead Boulevard between Thomas Ryan Boulevard and Anasazi Drive at least half of the time coming and going from my Sun City Summerlin residence. I believe most, if not all, of my neighbors support opening the Lake Mead-Las Vegas Beltway interchange as soon as possible (“New vote on opening date sought,” Saturday Review-Journal). Many Sun City residents will benefit.

Why keep a much-needed traffic asset unopened for a few — and I mean few — hard-headed Sun City residents? They knew it would open when they bought. What possible difference does it make to them when it opens?

Review-Journal, please keep the heat on the decision makers to open it up as soon as possible.




To the editor:

I read with amazement Tuesday’s “Mini Page,” which is written for children, concerning facts about the city of Denver. The writer needs to research climatalogical facts before putting them in print.

“Because it is so high up, it gets more of the sun’s heat.” If this premise were true, the peak of Mount Everest should be hotter than Death Valley. Denver’s relatively mild climate is due primarily to its topography. It is technically in the plains, being east of the Rocky Mountains. The reason for its abundant snowfall is the updraft of warm air hitting the Western Front and combining with cold air coming over the mountains.

Does the writer think that the sun, which averages more than 90 million miles from Earth, can affect the temperature of an area one mile closer to it?

If your newspaper is going to print facts, how about printing accurate ones?

Bruce Schowers


Appoint judges

To the editor:

The best argument in support of appointing judges rather than electing them is obviously the case of District Judge Elizabeth Halverson. All one has to do is read about her performance — or lack thereof — on the bench, as well as her physical condition, and understand that this woman should never have been elected in the first place.

Larry Fahey


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