Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - August 25, 2007

Check the data on global warming

I checked the Web sites mentioned in the letter, "New figures dispute global warming." They refer to an error made by NASA that resulted in average annual temperatures in the United States for recent years being reported somewhere between 0.06 degrees and 0.27 degrees Fahrenheit higher than they actually were.

This mistake has been corrected, and the blogger who pointed it out duly thanked. And it resulted in some reshuffling of the 10 hottest years of the century in the U.S., with some years in the 1930s moving up a notch. However, the error has no noticeable effect on the trend of U.S. temperatures over the century, and it has even less effect on worldwide trends (it is called global warming after all). The reported error affected only U.S. data, and the 1930s was not a particularly warm decade worldwide.

But don't take my word for it. Do a search of your own, say for "global warming temperature trends." You will quickly find graphs of the old data versus the new. Just please, please look at the data first, then go to the blogs. Some bloggers are very good but many will spin the data for their own agenda (either left or right). Check the data first, then see what the bloggers do to it.

Jim McKim

Fort Mill

Teachers need help with classroom supplies

Times have changed. Today, we as a culture are more focused on giving students a better education, with more opportunities, in a cleaner environment than we knew as a child.

That requires a different set of supplies from what worked just 10 years ago. As a parent of three, I am more than willing to sacrifice a few lunches out and maybe cut back on some other expenses to ensure that my children have the necessary supplies in their classroom and at home to get the best education possible.

I was disappointed in a recent letter to the editor stating that the requests from teachers for student supplies was a burden on parents and caused unnecessary "scavenger hunts" for this individual.

Successful education starts and ends with a team effort between the parent and the teacher. If my sons' teachers ask me to supply hand cleaner and paper towels, I am elated that the teacher cares enough about the children she teaches to have a clean classroom and to help minimize the spread of germs.

If she asks me for copy paper, I realize that the work sheets my children receive for homework are necessary, and with an average of 25 students per classroom, they surely will need a lot of paper in every classroom!

But what disturbed me most about the letter was the complete ignorance regarding the $250 budget that teachers are given to "supply" their classrooms.

My wife has been a teacher all of her life. I have witnessed first hand the expense each teacher has to make to set up and supply a classroom each and every year. Besides basic room supplies such as paper and folders, items such as bulletin boards, charts, reward stickers, holiday gifts, reproducible activities, storage items and many more basic supplies are all needed to successfully set up a classroom.

Realizing that not everyone has the financial resources to cover all of the requested supply costs, I have also seen a portion of this budget spent to ensure that all students have the supplies needed for success.

If anyone wants to blame teachers for "asking for too many supplies," please try to fill a gallon jug with a quart of water. It'll never happen unless others bring you three more quarts of water!

This is why we all need to try our best as parents to contribute the requested supplies for our children and their teachers ... and complain a little less about the small inconvenience it may bring.

Support and respect your child's teacher. Your child will be more successful because of it!

Andrew Constantine

Rock Hill