Opinions

Making the Grade | Janet Ralph

MAKING THE GRADE: Public schools are a partnership we need to protect

I have now been writing this column at the invitation of The Daily News for about a year. It has been a challenge, a privilege and a pleasure. The greatest gift my parents gave to me was the joy of learning and a passion for education. Today I am concerned that public education, one of the greatest accomplishments in our country, is under attack. There are those who disagree with me and believe that it should be replaced by a system run by the private sector, usually with a goal of making money on the enterprise.

Guest View | Victoria Simon

GUEST VIEW: School choice means families choose

Do you want the best for your child? It seems every parent does. Every family wants children to be healthy, be happy and feel loved. Parents wants their children to have opportunities to succeed.

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SHORT TAKES: State of the Union a look at what’s coming

Tonight’s State of the Union address by President Barack Obama should be well worth watching, as it figures to be one of the late lunges to lock in legacies for his time in office.

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OUR VIEW: Unfinished business

We’ve been keeping an eye on several local items of unfinished business.

Making the Grade | Janet Ralph

MAKING THE GRADE: Do we really understand what is involved in educating students?

I believe that one of the challenges facing educators and those supporting the public schools today is that there is really not a lot of understanding about education today. Most of us went to school. For some of us that was a long time ago. Some of us, like me, attended large city or suburban schools. Others may have attended smaller or very small country schools. There are probably a few who recall one room schoolhouses.

Making the Grade | Janet Ralph

MAKING THE GRADE: Our public schools — whose schools are they?

I borrowed the question in the headline for today’s column from an article I read recently. The beginning of a new calendar year seems like an appropriate time to raise this question. For the past year this column has been dedicated to informing parents and all citizens about issues impacting the public schools. In this space today, I want to share some information that can be used as we communicate with policy makers in Lansing and Washington, D.C.

Guest View | Judy Emmons

GUEST VIEW: Ending human trafficking begins with awareness

Theresa Flores travels across the country in her effort to free all women and children from the nightmare of human trafficking. She is also a survivor. When I’m asked to put a face on the problem in Michigan, I think of Theresa. She was forced into sex trafficking in high school while living in a prominent Southeast Michigan community.

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SHORT TAKES: We appreciate our local road crews

Weather like this reminds us of how much we appreciate the road crews of Greenville, Montcalm County, Belding and Ionia County and nearby areas. Heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures have posed considerable challenges to the people who keep our roads passable and our communities in business. If you’ve been reading The Daily News lately, you’ve read about the perils of their job, where stormy weather, darkness of night, unpredictable traffic comes to them often in the wee small hours of the morning.

Making the Grade | Janet Ralph

MAKING THE GRADE: Winter weather and other disruptions

I am writing this column while my outside thermometer reads minus 8 degrees and although the sun is shining, I can see lots of snow outside my window. I am snug inside taking care of putting away Christmas decorations and generally tidying up the house. I actually love January weather because I have the luxury of staying indoors. Although I am getting some cleaning done, my first choice would be to curl up with a book and savor the quiet day.

Making the Grade | Janet Ralph

MAKING THE GRADE: Education has to be a partnership

This past week, Susan J. Demas wrote a column that came down very hard on parents. She took them to task for not keeping up on their end of the bargain when it comes to educating their children. She said, “Forget blaming teachers. Blame the parents.”