Respect for nation

Many thanks to the concerned veteran who on July 4 shared a moving letter titled, “Show patriotism.” His thoughts reminded me of the many ways I learned from my youth to show love for our country; I am grateful.

One thing he wrote made me wish for footnotes: “We have allowed our government and legislators to remove patriotism from our schools. ...”

I believe persons and groups leading in education have encouraged students to show respect and love for America.

Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance hand over heart, presenting the colors in assembly and at games, parades, etc., come to mind.

Students also learn the history of our nation’s heritage and the high price paid for our freedoms. I’m sure we can all do better, but I don’t believe there’s been a concerted effort to “remove patriotism from our schools.”

I say thank you to this service veteran and others who put their lives on the line for us, and encourage us to join in traditional and new ways to say, “God Bless America!”

JOHN MILLER SR.

Ninth North Street

Summerville

Tax deal offer

Recently we heard that President Obama has once again proposed that the wealthiest among us pay their fair share of income taxes by exempting them from the proposed extension of the “Bush tax cuts.”

According to a national news weekly the top 1 percent, not me by the way, of all wage earners now pay a rather significant 37 percent of all income taxes.

So here’s my counterproposal:

Come up with a “real” one- dollar reduction in federal spending, and I’ll support his tax increase. I’m listening.

Neil Whitman

Waterfront Drive

Mount Pleasant

Salary incentives

Regarding the July 5 story “Linking school pay to results”:

The Charleston County School District is going to try a “pay for performance” system, hoping to spur teachers to teach better.

Oh, dear.

We want great teachers, and we want to reward them. However, basing teacher salary incentives on student achievement (determined by test scores, no doubt), is not the way to do it.

We may honor salespeople and factory workers for their efforts by bestowing monetary bonuses, but the work that teachers do cannot be so easily judged.

Schools cannot be compared to factories. Schools’ raw materials, unlike the components that factories elect to use, are not of consistent quality. They are human beings, some with more potential than others.

Some students are hindered by poor parenting, poverty, and weaker innate abilities. These young people cannot come out at the end of the year, or the end of schooling (graduation), with the same finished quality that other students achieve. Thus, it is unfair to judge teachers on their “products” when the raw materials vary so.

To make matters more absurd, the school district plans to use as “guinea pigs” for the new merit-pay system not teachers, but district leaders who are already the highest-paid employees.

Once again, the teachers and their students lose.

Nancy I. Romness

White Heron Lane

Charleston

Buying a church

As an 11th generation Charlestonian I am appalled at the ease of buying a historic downtown church and turning it into a private residence.

Not an abandoned, dilapidated church, but a thriving, productive church that benefits the city in remarkable ways.

I refuse to be silent, as my relatives were when the Charleston Hotel was demolished in 1960, and the Orphan House Chapel was torn down in the mid ’50s to make a parking lot.

Where is the Lutheran Synod? Where is Mayor Joe Riley?

My ancestors are spinning in their graves.

Deanne Clark

Highway 17 North

Mount Pleasant

Our free country

My Fourth of July started with the unfurling of my American flag, and placing it in its proper place on the front of my house.

I unfurled it slowly, first a red stripe and then a white one until the blue started with all its stars, all 50 of them, until it hung loosely but strong, flowing in the breeze.

Rockets and red glare crossed through my mind as if I were there at Fort McHenry near the coast of Baltimore in 1814, as the British made yet another unsuccessful assault in hope of recapturing the fledgling country that would become the beacon of the whole world.

I thought of the many celebrations planned at various places around Charleston, culminating in the glory of fireworks everywhere, those sparking lights bursting in hopes of inspiring our country’s newest generation.

Our free country shall roll forth to the end of time, going through all sorts of fires, only to emerge stronger and better for all.

At the end of the day, I took the flag down before rain or darkness fell on it.

Betty R. Williams

Dennis Avenue

Moncks Corner

Ship exhaust

In reference to the July 3 story and the lady who claims that the exhaust from the cruise ship makes it necessary to clean her porch three times a week.

I’d like her to know that I too have to clean my porch three times a week.

However, living up-river in the Harbour Watch subdivision, cruise ship exhaust never reaches this location.

Contributing to our dirty porches is probably containerships, bridge traffic, and general air pollutants.

Considering that these same contingents affect the Charleston Battery and surrounding area homes, perhaps pinpointing and crucifying the (once every five day) cruise ship traffic is a bit unfair.

Carol Tuzo

Harbour Watch Court

Mount Pleasant

Missing the point

I read the July 11 editorial about the problems with the North Charleston and Burke High School student performance, and I think you are missing the point completely.

What makes anyone think that turning the administration of those schools to the state would change anything in terms of performance?

The real problem with student performance at those schools lies mostly with the parents — not the teachers and not the administration.

That isn’t to say that there are not poor teachers or poor administrators in those schools. I’m sure there are, but that is the case in any of the schools, including the top performing ones such as Wando.

When parents hold their children accountable for school performance, when parents are concerned about where their kids are and who they hang out with, when parents pro-actively go to their children’s teachers to ask questions about progress — guess what — the children perform better.

How’s that for a new concept?

Hold the parents responsible to actually parent.

I’m from the Bill Cosby school — it’s time to stop blaming everyone and everything other than where the real problem lies.

Jeff Weiner

Legends Club Drive

Mount Pleasant

Dog torture

My fingers tremble as I write this in response to Christina Elmore’s poignant and painful story in the July 7 issue of The Post and Courier.

It is frightening to accept that there are people so sadistic and evil in our society that would torture a helpless dog.

I am grateful for the article, as it enables people to make a contribution to the recovery of Dara and the apprehension of those who are responsible for her injuries and the deaths of two other animals.

It is sad that there are such sick individuals among us. I applaud all those involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of this incredible dog. Her survival against all odds is an inspiration.

Elaine Tanay

Scalybark Road

Summerville