What a breath of fresh air in the July 29 Sports section about College of Charleston basketball. With all the negative things that have been said and written about the Cougars' former coach, it was nice to read about former Cougar Anthony Johnson.

It is refreshing to see how successful and positive his life has been, playing 13 seasons in the NBA and now a scout for the New Orleans Pelicans. That's a long road from being a star basketball player at Stall High School.

Anthony would be a wonderful choice to lead the program back to respectability. As a former player, Johnson would have strong support from the team, students, alumni and Cougar Club members, many of whom supported him in 2012 when he pursued the job.

A fresh new face with the support and respect of our community would help move past this crisis so the players can focus on winning basketball games.

Charles Thompson Jr.

Country Club Drive

Charleston

In a congressional district like ours with a VA hospital and many veterans and active duty, reserve and retired military persons, your giving Mark Sanford a pass with respect to his vote against the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 1974 is questionable at best.

The House vote was 420 for, five against; the Senate 91-3. Mr. Sanford was one of only eight members of the 535 members of Congress voting against the veterans act.

No S.C. senator or other S.C. member of the House of Representatives, Republican or Democrat, voted with Mr. Sanford. He is a reservist, a former commander in chief of the S.C. National Guard and a former governor of a state whose Medical University of S.C. partners with the local VA hospital.

He is also the former governor of a state that has had many call-ups of members of active duty, reserves and the National Guard, each of which suffered many casualties fighting in the Middle East.

I respectfully submit that Mr. Sanford's vote is inexplicable and inexcusable, just as was his going AWOL while governor.

I'm not asking for an op-ed piece by Mr. Sanford. I'm asking for some good investigative reporting by The Post and Courier because your readers deserve better.

Sidney Riggs

Ashley Avenue

Folly Beach

It is time for us to go back to an educational system that worked. For starters we need to institute professional dress codes for teachers. I happen to think that teachers should be distinguishable from students.

Let's also enforce student dress codes so that nobody's underwear is showing above or below the equator.

Next, we need to address the chaotic environment in so many classrooms - let's deep six the communal tables placed haphazardly around the room and return to individual desks, lined up nicely in neat little rows. I know that if I tried to learn in today's classrooms I would surely be diagnosed with ADD at the least.

Then let's put some days back on the calendar so that our students don't have every other week interrupted by teacher development seminars and teacher work days.

How about teachers using their work days to actually teach students? If they need clerical help, then let's use teaching assistants to do as many of those tasks as possible.

Oh, and parents, send your kids to school ready to learn and to act appropriately. Work with them at home as well.

Set aside specific time periods at home for working on school-related matters. Kids should spend more time reading and doing homework than they do gaming and sitting in drive-through lanes at restaurants.

Let's return to basic reading, writing and arithmetic courses in which we also teach critical thinking skills that will serve them well in all of their courses. Let's use technology to our advantage.

Reinstate grades for penmanship and citizenship. Bring back detention and Saturday school for students who can't toe the line during the week. Make suspensions take place at school, perhaps requiring parents of "frequent flyers" to attend, too.

I know this will be considered radical: Nobody advances to the next grade until he is reading and comprehending material suitable to his current grade level, starting in kindergarten.

After-school programs should be centered around students' curriculum materials and life skills rather than unstructured leisure time.

It is time that everyone involved in the business of educating our children, from administrators to parents, faces his individual and joint responsibilities and lives up to them.

Our children need and deserve the chance to compete with their peers in the real world when they complete their education.

Sharon Cook

Cashew Street

Charleston