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Edelblut showed his colors with ask for science standards review

To The Daily Sun,

Kudos to New Hampshire's Board of Education for standing up to Frank Edelblut, Sununu's controversial pick for education commissioner. The board recently voted unanimously to refuse Edelblut's request to review the state's school science standards.

The board adopted the Next Generation Science Standards last year after a two-year-long review. Edelblut requested another review because NGSS had been given a grade of "C" by the Fordham Institute. However, Jack Hassard, a former high school science teacher and professor emeritus of science education at Georgia State University, describes Fordham as an "ultra-conservative" organization, whose criteria used to evaluate the NGSS are "low-level, mediocre at best." According to Hassard, Fordham "appears to have had their eyes closed" during the past 30 years, when "many of the creative ideas ... emerged in science teaching." The Board of Education agreed. As board member Bill Duncan stated, "Fordham's view of the standards is from 1950 science teaching."

Sununu's choice of Edelblut was met with much criticism. He and his wife home-schooled their children and he has had no professional public education experience. According to state law, education commissioners "shall be qualified to hold their positions by reason of education and experience." Because of Edelblut's lack of experience and his conservative views on education, critics were fearful that his appointment was strictly political. It appears that their fears were well-founded.

If you are concerned about the current attack on science and gutting of the EPA by the Trump administration and Republican leaders, please join the worldwide March for Science on Earth Day, April 22, which includes satellite marches in Concord and Portsmouth. For more information, search March for Science Concord NH or March for Science Portsmouth NH on Facebook.

Jane Westlake

Center Barnstead

  • Category: Letters
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Thanks to chief & his men, we have a great firefighting force

To The Daily Sun,

Bravo to Ken Erickson and the great firefighters in Laconia!

Thanks to Ken and his men and women we have one of the finest firefighting forces in the country.
When they are not responding to unending calls for service or fires they are training, cleaning their equipment or supporting others.

Thanks to Ken we have the Lakes Region Community Emergency Response Team which has donated thousands of hours of service to supporting police and fire in the Lakes Region. Ken personally provides training, equipment and leadership to this team and many other initiatives.

Thanks to Ken we have a modern, up-to-date emergency management director who is always thinking ahead and planning for the next disaster or event that might go wrong. Months before Motorcycle Week, Pumpkin Fest and even the Laconia Fest he and his team are planning, training and planning some more.
He carries around books and maps and plans for every building, every potentially explosive scenario in town. Before his firefighters go into a building he already knows what toxic substances are there and how to cope with them.

Don't shoot the victims. The calls for service rival towns 10,000 and 20,000 more in population. Sure, they don't show up on the census, but they are out there in second homes, vacationers, business employees, day trippers as well as full-time residents. They regularly train with LRGH and police as well as the other neighboring towns to optimize their response to situations that too often threaten to spiral out of control. They reason they don't is due to the training and top-down, can-do attitude on the part of the firefighters in Laconia.

Our society has a lot of issues and both fire and police are on the front lines too often doing the work that politicians choose not to fund, like mental health, drug rehab, modern jails with educational programs, more support for low income citizens, better schools to name just a few of the recent targets of politicians who govern well behind the front lines. Since the firemen and women don't call themselves for 9-1-1 calls, there must actually be $650,000 in overtime need — maybe, just maybe, they need more firefighters!

I, just as the mayor, listen to the scanner when the dispatcher has to call in off-duty firefighters to cover the station because everyone is out on a call. This is happening more and more. Ken would be derelict in his duty if he left the station unmanned or waiting for truck to return before sending another out. Would the politicians like a half hour or hour wait time on their home or business?

At the very least the council and mayor should sit down and discuss it rather than taking potshots that only stir things up and doesn't solve anything for anyone.

Maybe they should hold a council meeting down at the fire station and listen to the calls for service that come in over the radios.

David Stamps

  • Category: Letters
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