Stand against testing

To the editor:

This is in response to the results of Haywood County Schools statewide testing scores. I am a past teacher of 16 years.

I continue to be amazed at the pressure teachers are under to get the “scores” up. They are teaching students from all walks of life. Some students come from homes of drug abuse, poverty, and abuse or neglect.

They are not robots who come to school to score a point. This is another reason why teachers leave the profession besides low pay. How did testing get to be so predominate in our society?

Here is the answer: Testing companies are making money off the schools, and it begins in Raleigh. Teachers are smart, trained and creative. They can teach the standards without being measured by statewide rankings.

There are other ways to measure school improvement. I suggest Superintendent Bill Nolte and other administrators go into the schools so many times a year to teach a class or be involved one on one to see how the school environment really is.

How often do the administrators come unannounced to schools and walk the halls or go into classrooms to observe? How often do they talk to teachers and students to hear their suggestions?

Let’s not forget the number of students who go to school afraid of shootings or afraid their parents could be taken away due to immigration.

It is a hard task to be in disagreement with the policy of testing but it is time for change. Our schools are so antiquated in this respect.

Come on Dr. Nolte and school board members. Be daring. Take a stand when you go to Raleigh. Represent all students who come from this unique rural area.

Virginia Wall


Parking signs should mean something

To the editor:

Signs, signs everywhere. On one episode of Duck Dynasty a remark was made regarding speed limit signs. The limit was only a “Suggestion.” Funny but not funny.

The town of Clyde has a solar powered flashing sign on Broad Street that tells your speed. I think this will help. Thanks to the town.

However, the signs regarding no parking on sidewalk along Carolina Boulevard are ignored. Individuals are forced to walk in the street around cars, trucks and commercial vehicles with loads.

This is a risk the police force in Clyde ignores. The sidewalks do not belong to any business to be used as a parking area. They belong to the public.

The American Disabilities Act of 1990 Title II requires areas be accessible to persons with disabilities. How can a person in a wheel chair, walker, cane or any device used to assist go around vehicles?

I suggest the town take the many signs down or start enforcing the law. Someday a person could get seriously injured dodging a vehicle that is on a sidewalk made for pedestrians.

Joe Williams


Waynesville should require developers to use 3-D

To the editor:

This is a response to a recently printed letter about the eroding of Waynesville’s small-town culture, principally from development beyond town areas.

Among the writer’s arguments was the adoption of polices such as Smart Growth Principals (protect rural landscape, preserve open space, protect air and water quality, provide places for recreation).

Waynesville has already adopted the smart growth principals. Those are the basis of the current Comprehensive Development Plan (2020) and the proposed revision for 2035 scheduled for approval this fall.

That will not cause the board of aldermen to restrict construction of apartment developments that straddle our wetlands and low-lying “flat” places.

The proposed 200-unit Russ Avenue project is just the next one in the story. A six-month fight by neighborhood opponents did not stop the developments in Plott Creek and Allens Creek.

There are other available properties dotted throughout the community as well. Many of those are on creek flood plains that will require new plateaus of fill dirt.

The Waynesville Planning Board does not require a 3-D visualization of developers’ site plans. This is a virtual display of the development as it sits in our community, not on an architect’s drawing. If that had been done, then the new Plott Creek “Plateau” (or Palisades) topped with multi-story buildings would be revealed.

This 3-D visualization would illustrate these facts: 1) the development is not in keeping with the character of the neighborhood; 2) the children at Hazelwood Elementary will no longer view mountain vistas while on the playground.

This new development is not about work-force housing for our teachers, health workers and service industry employees. These are all “upscale” complexes with clubhouses and pools.

The high rents will be paid by employees from Asheville, Cherokee and Cullowhee. This is the new Waynesville.

Mary Thomas


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