Common Core

Before even reading the Nov. 8 article on Charleston County public schools’ report cards I knew there would be a reference made to the new Common Core standards explaining how they have improved our public school system.

It seems to me that every time something goes right with public education the S.C. Board of Education and the state Education Oversight committee immediately attribute the success to Common Core. On the flip side, whenever anything goes wrong in the school system, it is because Common Core has not had enough time to work.

I am a student who has looked at Common Core for a course dealing with local policies until I was blue in the face. These new standards of education are the foundation for average schools concerned with meeting benchmarks. South Carolina needs exceptional schools focused on surpassing the expectations of the Common Core standards.

South Carolina is not the only state where there is controversy over continuing on with the standards. While we might see improvements in S.C. schools, perhaps it is simply due to the recent emphasis on improving education outside of Common Core.

It is time to really look at Common Core and assess whether it truly is the best option for our situation. South Carolina may be better off developing strong state values that push students further.

Julie Barton

Calhoun Street

Charleston

Make bike room

The Post and Courier recently published a letter titled “Restrict bikes.” The theme of the letter was that bicycling in Mount Pleasant is inherently dangerous — that the town is doing a lot to accommodate bicycles, but in the meantime bicycles should be prohibited on roads such as Rifle Range and Long Point near Palmetto Islands County Park.

Under S.C. law a bicycle is a vehicle, and has the same rights to the road as any other vehicle. The law further requires motorists to give bicyclists safe passage, and to pass a bicycle (or other slow moving vehicle, like a golf cart), only where it does not endanger the cyclist.

There are some good things going on to accommodate bicycles, such as a recent Mount Pleasant town meeting which asked for input on bicycle and pedestrian traffic, and the new striped lanes on the access roads to Highway 17, and new sidewalks wide enough to ride bicycles on for new 17, but there is a lot left undone.

Rifle Range Road, specifically mentioned by the motorist, was repaved within the past two years. An engineer I know questioned the S.C. Department of Transportation and Mount Pleasant as to why bicycle lanes were not to be added (easy to do — land is there, mostly graded). The answer was that a multiuse sidewalk/path was to be added at a later date.

We’re still waiting — and in front of Whitesides Elementary, for example, there’s only a sidewalk on one side of the street, not in front of city-owned waterworks, and there are no bike paths.

The reason people don’t ride their bicycles to the library, grocery store, bank and other short errands is that they don’t feel safe, that there’s not adequate space for them.

If there are enough bicycles on the roads (as in many parts of downtown Charleston), drivers begin to expect to see them, and everyone is safer. Build paths, widen roads, connect existing paths and bicycle usage will jump and accidents will go down.

I find it hard to understand a motorist complaining about bicycle safety. What exactly is the concern? A scratch on her car? Bicyclists like myself are very aware of the unequal risks taken when riding a bicycle in a car-centric environment. We are also, however, aware of the benefits to our bodies, the environment and our pocketbooks.

Please, watch out for us when you’re in your car and take some time, to ride your bicycle outside your neighborhood to church, to a restaurant, wherever. You might be surprised how pleasant it really is.

Carlsen Huey

Larry Broudy

Sparrow Drive

Isle of Palms

S.C. advantage

Hey, Boeing, remember why you came to South Carolina from the state of Washington in the first place — too many union strikes.

Barbara J. Lannan

Craven Avenue

Charleston

Leadership shift

A special thanks to the Obama administration and John Kerry for allowing the French to take the lead in the Iranian nuclear disarmament talks. The world needed the strong leadership the French provided.

Billy Hennessy

North Adgers Wharf

Charleston

Mark him down

A few days ago the House voted on and passed a bill with nearly unanimous support that would establish a panel to study the Veterans Affairs Departments backlog of disability claims.

It would be tasked with finding ways to shorten the appeals process for claims and also prioritize claims for particular groups like those who are elderly or terminally ill. The bill was passed voting 404-1. The one individual voting against it was our own S.C. Rep. Mark Sanford.

According to his Mount Pleasant office, it was due to some strings attached that our honorable congressman disliked. Four hundred and four of Mr. Sanford’s colleagues must have misinterpreted the bill.

In the state of South Carolina there are over 550,000 veterans whom Mr. Sanford decided were not worthy of consideration. Mr. Sanford’s contact and discussions with veterans seems to be very limited. I am ensuring that local veterans groups, including the VFW, Disabled American Veterans and the American Legion are made aware of this decision.

We need leaders who back the men and women that give so much to this country.

Tom Musolf

SM/Sgt, U.S. Air Force (Ret.)

Dale Avenue

Ladson

Thanks for victory

As chairman of the Dorchester County Taxpayers Association, I would like to thank all those individuals and organizations (especially Sen. Mike Rose, Councilman Larry Hargett, the Dorchester County Democratic Party, the Dorchester County Republican Party, the “Tea Party” groups and our own membership) that worked tirelessly for two months to defeat the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) referendum in Dorchester County on Nov. 5.

With all due respect to those whose views differ from our own, from our perspective, those who worked so hard and those who cast the overwhelming “No” vote, to deny the tax increase and its redistribution of tax dollars away from the poor and middle-class residents of Dorchester County not only defeated one of the worst ideas since Adam but thwarted the pipe dreams of those mayors, superintendents, special interests, boards and councils in favor of LOST.

Now let us unite to further those common-sense principles of our founding generation, principles of transparency, accountability and concurrency, as opposed to the visionary foolishness that leads to sprawl, inefficiency and fraud.

John Braund

Chairman

Dorchester County

Taxpayers Association

Bertram Road

Summerville

Save Clamagore

The USS Clamagore is a valuable asset in the many exhibits at Patriot’s Point. How often can the average tourist or visitor see the interior of a submarine?

Unfortunately at anchor in our harbor is a very labor intensive and expensive place for such a valuable piece of history. Saltwater imparts no mercy to a steel vessel.

After reading of the possible sinking of her for a reef, I wondered if anyone considered bringing the submarine out of the water and mounting it on supports with tour entry from land?

I believe Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry has a German submarine captured during WW ll on display without any harmful saltwater problems.

It would be a shame to lose this defender of democracy to corrosion.

Robert Savin, M.D.

Privateer Creek Road

Johns Island