Merged schools may not be as effective

CNJ Readers

I am pleased to have my daughter in her third year at Lincoln Jackson Arts Academy.

I support the arts-infused education provided by LJAA and would be glad to see that same education provided to any interested child.

That said, I’m concerned about the proposed merger with Bella Vista Elementary.

First, LJAA has about 145 students. This is a school where every child knows every staff member and almost every other child. The staff knows every child, and many of the parents.

Every day at LJAA begins with an assembly of all students, staff and often quite a few parents and family in the gym.

Every Friday, a longer assembly allows more time for students to perform for their peers. Kids from kindergarten to sixth grade get to cheer for, and gain respect for, each other.

I’m worried that Bella Vista will not have assembly space for 430 (or more) children, much less for staff and families.

Second, if this merger happens, the new school will have just one teacher each for music, art, dance and library. LJAA currently has one of each, serving just 145 students.

The arts-infused programs I have seen involved lots of cooperation between the classroom teacher and the other staff members.

The classroom teachers are great, but I don’t feel it is fair — or realistic— to expect them to produce lessons of the same quality and quantity when the educational support teachers are expected to serve three times as many children.

I’m not sure the Arts Academy can gain so many students so quickly, while losing staff, and still perform to the same high standards.

If this is caused by Santa Fe underfunding teacher salaries, let’s take the problem back to our representatives, and not take it out on our children.

Gary B. Williamson
Portales

Patriotism, loyalty not from yes-people

Thirty-five years ago, Nixon lied to us. He was caught, and resigned.

Still, millions believed him, or just didn’t care. Here we go again.

Bush lied to us about Iraq. He’s been caught and, in the middle of all that, hurricanes Katrina and Rita have revealed that the Bush administration is as incompetent at disaster relief as it has been fighting terrorism.

Why did we elect these guys?

Well, when the issues are complicated and our collective thoughtfulness is outrun by communicative technology pandering to the lowest common denominator, it is obvious we’re capable of profound stupidity.

We throw effort and resources at the easy solutions which, in fact, solve little while depriving ourselves of intelligent, effective, long-term solutions.

When it is easy and feels good, we elect macho fools to high office.

How comforting.

But the better news is this: With a free, reasonably informed press, a free, reasonably informed public can eventually mend some of its idiotic political decisions.

We, among few nations, are capable of fairly peaceful change.

But to do so, to the left or the right, implies and requires many-sided dissent without which democracy is meaningless.

As Wes Clark put it: “No administration has the right to tell Americans that to dissent is disloyal and to disagree is unpatriotic.”

Well, this administration has told me just that.

And I adamantly dissent.

Kirby Rowan
Portales

All Christians have responsibility to God

I feel it is time we take a good look at our nation. I feel strongly that God is saying something to us and we are not listening.

Judges may rule God out of things, but that doesn’t mean he is out.

He is still the sovereign ruler and will always be no matter what people believe. He still judges by his rules, given to us in his word.

What does he see in our nation? Greed, cheating, corruption, sex, sin of every kind, murder, lying, theft and — as was seen so recently — looting.

We also see much good but God is not going to overlook the other.

Are we going to listen and repent? This is the responsibility of the Christian.

Ethelva Byous
Clovis