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Dropouts not just a waste of money but of human potential

Wednesday, June 26, 2013
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Dropouts not just a waste of money but of human potential

After reading that New York state has the nation’s highest per-pupil spending [June 9 Gazette], I was further dismayed to learn that the 2012 high school graduation rate was an abysmal 49.2 percent for the Albany City School District and marginally better 58.2 percent for the Schenectady City School District [June 18 Gazette].

If scarce few good jobs are available for graduating college seniors, what kind of future will the undereducated face?

The dire consequences of not graduating create pervasive societal problems that will continue to cost taxpayers — the same taxpayers that pay for public education — untold billions to support our welfare, health care and criminal justice systems. Education isn’t a panacea for all social ills, but high school graduation is the bare minimum requirement to participate in today’s global economy — and that diploma won’t guarantee a decent standard of living.

Unfortunately, the greatest tragedy for dropouts is the immeasurable human toll: the lost opportunity to realize one’s full potential and become a more productive citizen.

Instead of playing the blame game, we need to adopt a unified, focused effort to address the problems that plague education — and solve them. Time is running out.

Eldon J. Smith Jr.

Scotia

Why must Will always be so negative about Obama?

OK, enough is enough. Nationally syndicated columnist George Will’s articles in the Gazette need a makeover.

It’s not that Will is a poor writer. His sentences are expertly chosen and his grammar is impeccable. It’s just that most, if not all, of what he writes is extremely negative, and his favorite target is President Obama. It has been going on for a long time now, even before Obama became president.

The spewing of hatred for our president, especially from a distinguished columnist, has never been more evident than in the June 23 article, “Obama goes from bad to worse in Berlin.”

Read it over again and see if you don’t get the feeling that Will obviously wants our president to fail. There has to be at least some good coming out of the presidency, something positive once in a while. You would never know it based on Will’s writing. Freedom of speech is a great thing, but it must be balanced and fair.

I wish that George Will, as fine a journalist as he is, would express more positive, constructive views. If not, maybe the Gazette should find a replacement.

Ray Knapik

Ballston Spa

Michelle travels on dollars of those who can’t afford to

“Let them eat cake,” was Marie Antoinette’s response to the fact that the poor Frenchman had no bread to eat.

Now over 200 years later, what will Michelle [Obama] tell the poor and unemployed in America as she plans her escape on a $100 million tour of Africa at taxpayers’ expense? I hope you enjoy the trip, as many of us can’t even take a day trip at $3.50 a gallon for gas.

Over 14 million Americans are still out of work. Thousands of public workers at all levels are taking furlough days, without pay, so Michelle can take her family on vacation.

Don Cazer

Niskayuna

Veterans deserve honor, dignity of a proper burial

We, as a nation, owe so much to our veterans of all wars, and they were all wars, no matter what you call them.

What a shame to read about unclaimed veterans finally laid to rest. Some of these veterans go back as far as WWII. I would think there is a better way to take care of this — like when a veteran passes away in a hospital and the family doesn’t have the means to take care of a proper burial, the hospital calls a veterans post in the area where the death took place.

At that point, the veterans post can call the Patriot Guard Riders or the Gerald B.H. Solomon [Saratoga] National Cemetery to find out what has to be done to complete the process for a final resting place. Hopefully, some veterans posts will pick up on this and call the national cemetery to find out what has to be done to complete the process. This also goes for funeral homes in our area. It will make life easier for all.

Veterans are the ones that have kept our country a free nation. We owe them the respect they deserve.

Sid Gordon

Saratoga Springs

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comments

June 26, 2013
5:24 a.m.
Phils2008 says...

Ray, the Gazette has always had plenty of "replacements". How about E.J. Dionne and the rest of the left wing gaggle that used to permeate the Gazette daily. Did you take the time to write about their constant incessant bashing of George Bush? I doubt it. Lefties have never signed on to the "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" principle. You guys do whatever you want then cry when it happens to you. Owning the main stream media gives you certain advantages none of which are moral. You can destroy somebody like Bush who was at the least a decent person who respected the office and run cover for a guy that lies daily. I would not call that balanced and fair, buy then I'm not a liberal. As for the more positive and constructive views, I'd certainly like to know what they are. Your President does not adhere to the Constitution, ignores the law, bashes conservatives, golfs and vacations weekly, has done nothing for jobs, is bankrupting America, is destroyed our foreign relations. Please give me the positives!!!!!!!!!!!!

June 26, 2013
5:35 a.m.
reader1 says...

Liberal - conservative, both titles seem a bit silly to me, not for what they stand for but because their proponents seem to think the solutions to real world problems can only be found exclusively in one of the two camps.

The media has treated both unfairly but has also given both a pass. Will, Brazile - they are media extension of the partisanship that permeates and is holding this country back from functioning effectively.

June 26, 2013
6:50 a.m.
Phils2008 says...

Reader1, just so you understand, Conservatives solutions are rooted in the Constitution and based on our founding principles. Liberal solutions are based on control of the masses and the principles of socialism. Conservatives have always been willing to talk and workout a compromise, the problem is that liberals are unprincipled liars. When it comes to the media, you would be hard pressed to give me an example of the media treating liberals unfairly. That does not happen. Why happened Scooter Libby? The media wanted Bush and settled for anyone they could get. Not so with Democrats. They are always given a pass. Did Clinton go to jail for lying to a grand jury? Nope. It does not happen to liberals. Its accepted that they are immoral liars.

June 26, 2013
7 a.m.
MMRMIKE68 says...

DON CAZER: HEY, U DEMS REELECTED OBAMMA AND FAMILY, SO STOP COMPLAINING AND SUCK IT UP. YOU CAN BE SURE THIS WON'T BE HER LAST TRIP ON OUR DIME.................M

June 26, 2013
9:04 a.m.
gina99 says...

Boo hoo! How dare George Will speak the truth about horrible Obama and the worst Attorney General in history. Forget about it. Let him enjoy another needless vacation on the taxpayer dime.

June 26, 2013
5:14 p.m.
wmarincic says...

Eldon J. Smith Jr. It's simple, get rid of the teachers unions and pass "School Choice".

June 27, 2013
10:29 a.m.
reader1 says...

OK, Phil - thanks for teaching us that Conservatives are right and good, Liberals are wrong and bad.

June 30, 2013
6:30 a.m.
Phils2008 says...

Reader1, Liberls are far more then just wrong and bad. They are the scourge of America, and everything she stands for. You people are simply hypocritical buffoons that have destryed this country. You have turned our schools into social playgrounds, kill babies, protect mass murders, waste every tax dollar you steal, co-opt issues like civil rights by handing out other peoples money like candy, block border security, run the media, prevent our country from gaining energy independence, run pc amok, and in general ruin (health care) everything you put your slimmy fingers on.

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