Remove the flag

I find it hard to believe that a friendly state like South Carolina would choose to offend almost one-third of its own population. While some criticize the NAACP for boycotting college athletic tournaments (at a projected loss of $6 million per event) and try to find a way around the boycott, the greater issue is the offense to the more than 1.35 million African-Americans who live in the state and to many others of varied ethnic backgrounds who are embarrassed by it.

The Confederate flag cannot honestly be separated from the cause it represented, which was the continued enslavement of blacks brought to this country against their will. Those who argue it represents protecting states’ rights must admit that those rights revolved around the owning of slaves.

Great strides have been made toward healing racial wounds and divisions in the state; I have witnessed these and participated in them. I believe that removing the flag from its present location and placing it in a museum will further the healing process.

How much better it will be when the NAACP and all South Carolinians support efforts to bring college athletic tournaments to our state.

Rev. Edward J. Grant

Pastor

Calvary Lutheran Church

Manor Boulevard

Charleston

Power grab

After reading Brian Hicks’ Aug. 18 column exploring the reasons for hiring a sitting state senator to head the Charleston airport, it makes even less sense than we thought.

This is not enlightened political leadership, but pettiness and a power grab to even the political odds. (This is our political leadership. It’s almost beyond belief, but maybe it shouldn’t be.)

These people are playing with a major entity in our county and state, which is about to spend $150 million.

It’s time for all politicians to resign from the board of the Aviation Authority. Appoint a board of experienced business people. Hire the best person we can find for the job — someone who reports to the board and runs the authority like the business it is, not a political fiefdom.

Warren Watts

Bishop Gadsden

Charleston

Center needed

We seniors would like to ask Colleen Condon where Charleston County found $3 million for a skateboard park. Three years ago she said the county would try to find funds and a location west of the Ashley for a senior center.

There is one downtown, one in Mount Pleasant and one on James Island. The one on James Island is great (I am a member), but some seniors, including myself, do not like to drive on Folly Road at all.

This is especially true at night when the center offers social activities.

Laura Garner

Forest Lakes

Charleston

Vision 2016

As a father of three students in the Charleston County School District, I have been attending “fact and fee” days.

At Thomas C. Cario Middle School, I happened to see the CCSD Vision 2016, 2011-2012 Annual Report. I didn’t get beyond the first line of an introductory message from Dr. Nancy McGinley, superintendent, before I found a serious contradiction between the stated goals and my personal experience.

Dr. McGinley states that, “Vision 2016 [goals] are rooted in a firm belief: with the right supports, high expectations, and great teaching…” High expectations? I beg to differ.

I have a child who is a dedicated and conscientious student who performs at a high level in the classroom. But because of a formulaic system called the “placement rubric” she cannot get into the honors classes that she needs in order to be challenged (by high expectations). This is not an isolated instance. I have spoken to other parents whose children are being denied the opportunity to take honors courses due to the placement rubric.

The rubric uses five criteria, with various point values attached to each. Ten points total are available, and a student must have seven or more to qualify for honors courses. Six points are associated with standardized test scores. The two most important criteria, in my opinion, are current course grade and teacher recommendation, each worth one point. So, past performance and the opinion of a professional educator (a great teacher Dr. McGinley would say) with intimate knowledge of a student’s work ethic and ability only account for 20 percent of the available points.

When evaluating you, does your employer ask you what your SAT or ACT score was?

Harold C. Surface III

Linksland Road

Mount Pleasant

Fix the board

Beneath the chaos of replacing the director of the Charleston County Aviation Authority is an issue I have not heard addressed.

We are told that when the director, Sue Stevens, resigned, she gave as her reason the impossibility of working with the board. By all published accounts, she was a competent director, so why were her complaints not then investigated and published?

If the board is acting properly and not interfering with the operation of the authority, the public needs to be assured of this.

If they are not, then what will change with a new director?

Harriet S. Little

Joyce Lane

Summerville