Flooding risk

I have always favored properties on high ground. Land located too close to a flood plain or a mountain stream that might become wild with spring runoff never made the cut.

The Lowcountry has presented some challenges on that score, but then, all things are relative.

Still, I get excited when I read about plans in the works for the Charleston Neck and the Horizon Project.

Both projects include significantly large parcels that scream "Location. Location. Location."

But the term "high ground" doesn't apply to either of them.

Like much of the lower Charleston peninsula, they aren't many feet from being awash when high tide rolls in. And regardless of what one believes about climate change, the Atlantic Ocean is expected to continue its relentless rise.

I wonder what these two projects will look like in 100 years.

Will there be "high roads" from the mainland connecting to these elevated islands of reincarnated dead zones, or will we have taken a page from the Dutch playbook and built dikes around the peninsula?

Carey Brier

Axtell Drive

Summerville

Thank a teacher

Jean Fowler is a beloved and dedicated second-grade teacher who taught for 44 years. During her long career, this gifted teacher laid the foundation for success for countless children and set them firmly on the path toward a bright and promising future.

Several weeks ago, Jean received a phone call, out of the blue, from a grateful parent whose child she had taught over three decades ago. This "child" is now a prominent attorney in this area.

The message that this appreciative parent left on her voice mail began (paraphrased):

"I don't know whether or not I have the right phone number, but if this is the Ms. Fowler who used to teach at Orange Grove Elementary, then I believe that you were my son's second-grade teacher back in the '70s. I would like to thank you for the difference you made in his life. You are the teacher who stands out among the many teachers he had growing up. You are the teacher who made the difference."

If you remember a teacher who shaped your future and helped you to become the person that you are today, thank her or him, even if it was decades ago.

It's never too late.

Jim Atkinson

Principal (Retired)

Charleston County and Dorchester Two

School Districts

Mansfield Boulevard

Charleston

Pass on PASS

Students in grades three through eight in South Carolina recently completed a state-mandated test called PASS, Palmetto Assessment of State Standards.

PASS was mandated by S.C. legislators to measure student achievement.

It has also been used to sort, classify and stigmatize students and to reward and punish schools, teachers and administrators.

PASS results are used to rate each school excellent, good, average or unsatisfactory. Why should one test carry so much weight and take up so much instructional time?

The money spent on PASS testing and teaching to the test could be better spent on funding full-day mandatory 4-year-old kindergarten.

Our school districts throughout the academic year give enough student assessments for teachers to make an honest judgment on a child's academic progress and achievement.

The only reason for state-mandated tests is to give politicians the simple answers they want for complex questions. Let's assess their progress using the same ratings given our schools.

At the end of each legislative session we will fly a flag over the state Capitol that says excellent, good, average or unsatisfactory.

We can also rate our state superintendent.

It's time we stop playing politics with our teachers, students and administrators by using test data for the wrong reasons.

As a retired principal with over 38 years of administrative experience, I can count on one hand the teachers who did not want to do a better job.

Testing is a part of accountability, but let's not put all our eggs in one basket, and let's stop labeling our schools, teachers and administrators.

Every state legislator should have to serve as a testing monitor.

This would give him a firsthand view of how our students and teachers are dealing with a no-win situation.

Brooks P. Moore

Blue House Road

Ladson

Summer's choice

After a harsh winter, at last the lazy, hazy days of summer are in sight.

Days are warming, so break out the barbecue, beach towels, sunscreen, sunglasses and bug spray.

But lo! Out of their winter hibernation come those messengers of global Armageddon, the climate doomsday alarmists.

Beware a 12-foot rise in sea levels, Antarctic ice shelf monster break-offs, droughts, floods, cyclones and hurricanes increasing in number and strength and wildfires more rampant than ever.

Hang onto your wallets because the solutions of these climate gurus involve your cash and plenty of it.

There is a choice - you can panic about theoretical events or just enjoy the summer, as global average temperatures enter their 18th year without perceptible warming.

William Rickards

Ashley Hill Drive

Goose Creek