To The Editor

March 2, 2009

By Contributor

Homework

Making up failing grade a waste of time for student who learns at accelerated rateWhen going through the mail this weekend I pulled out a letter from the Issaquah School District. Enclosed was a letter for one of our high school students to take English at the night academy.

I am annoyed that I am expected to pay $200 for my child to make up a credit for an English class, and that I am expected to drive her out to who knows where and then back again to pick her up. All because she won’t turn in homework!

If she didn’t have an understanding of the material, I could understand. However, the problem is the exact opposite. She has an amazing vocabulary, can out spell anyone and her super power really is having a good understanding of languages and how they work. When I reviewed her report card, the teacher’s comments just made me shake my head.

Honors English comments from the teacher: “Student shows exceptional ability in this subject, assignments are not completely regularly.” Grade F.

My question is, if the student shows exceptional ability in this subject, then why is homework an issue? Isn’t homework a tool to help students master the material? If you already know the material, it seems like a punishment to have to spend time doing something you already know.

Many kids today learn at a faster pace and absorb amazing amounts of material quickly. I am always amazed at how much they are able to retain. Our kids love to learn. They prefer to learn new things instead of spending time on homework. DNA is partly to blame. In talking to grandparents, I have learned that preferring to keep moving forward to learn new things is just part of our nature.

I am tired of people saying I have smart kids followed with “Have you considered home-schooling or sending them to a private school where they can have the type of learning environment they deserve?”

Why can’t we put some trust in our teachers so that they have some flexibility in grading?

Why is the homework grade worth so much? I am listening!

Cynthia Freese

Issaquah

Construction

New building is an eyesore that does not fit in with the rest of the neighborhood

Has anyone noticed the monstrosity on the northeast corner of Newport Way and Juniper Street? The monster concrete building that has no relationship to anything that characterizes Issaquah?

Had no one seen the preliminary drawings before this was approved? I thought we were putting thought and imposing standards on new construction. How did this ever get through? It is a blot on the scenery of Newport Way.

Barbara Extract

Issaquah

Student interviews

Students were very impressive,  deserve to be future leaders

Yesterday, we citizen volunteers finished up student interviews at Issaquah High School. These were left over from Dec. 17, when it snowed and school was cancelled. This is required for a student to graduate from high school in Issaquah.

Two citizens interviewed a student for about 10 minutes. They brought their résumé and were dressed as if applying for a job. They all had to answer a question about future plans, how to finance it and other related issues. Then, they answered one or two more questions from a list prepared by school officials.

They came and introduced themselves, shook hands, and we asked them to be seated. After the interview, they shook hands again. Many said they were afraid.

I want to say that I was very impressed by the young people that I had the privilege to interview. The parents in Issaquah should be proud of their children. These future leaders of this nation should make us all proud.

May I say that, as a senior citizen, I believe our country will be in good hands with these students as leaders.

Mora Gilley

Issaquah

Park Pointe

Project would create unsafe location  for traffic and nearby students

Following your front-page article of Jan. 28 (“Comment on Tiger Mountain housing project”), I took the time to download and read for myself the environmental impact study for the proposed Park Pointe Development.

There were two major points that I had issue with — namely:

4Environmental impact to vegetation and wildlife.

4Traffic and accident impact around Southeast Second Avenue and Southeast Evans Lane.

From the report, at least 25 percent of the development area will be paved over [Vegetation and Wildlife Technical Report — Table 2, page 14], there is a real risk of foraging animals [Vegetation and Wildlife Technical Report — Page 12] and a “significant change” in on-site vegetation and wildlife [Vegetation and Wildlife Technical Report — Page 28].

The traffic impact for all of Issaquah — not just around Southeast Second Avenue — is also problematic. There will be increased vehicle traffic, pollution and accidents around Clark Elementary School and Tiger Mountain Community High School. “There is always a chance that accidents will increase as traffic levels increase” [Transportation Technical Report — Page 3].

I urge the City Council to push forward with the transfer of development rights being negotiated — and to preserve the western flanks of Tiger Mountain for future generations.

Martin Buckley

Issaquah

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Comments

2 Responses to “To The Editor”

  1. Cynthia on March 3rd, 2009 9:20 pm

    Construction: We pass this spot on the way to the orthodontist each month and assumed it was a jail (lack of windows). We asked around to see if we could find out more but didn’t have much luck. Its sad but it seems that if you are not on front street your not considered to be part of Issaquah!

  2. Kathy Swoyer on March 6th, 2009 4:38 pm

    Re Homework: Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve been in school, and I don’t have kids, but I can’t relate to this shrugging-off attitude toward homework. Reaching superior goals in school, life and the workplace requires doing many things you “don’t want to do.” The ability to juggle both the joys and tedium of learning is an essential discipline for achieving success, and maturity, in life.

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