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Issue: "Probing international adoption," Nov. 16, 2013

‘Uncommon uprising’

Oct. 5  A good article about yet another attempt to teach math in a “new” manner. There is a history of this sort of thing going back to the 1960s when young children had to learn “new math” before they were ready for it. Any third-grader should be able to recognize that 448 is greater than 407 without having to go through the exercise of comparing the numbers in each column.
—J.C. Keister, Lakeville, Minn.

Lucy determined that 448 is greater than 407 “just by looking” at the numbers. But many students would not “see” that 0.8 is larger than 0.25 because they don’t understand place values, something Lucy’s answer did not reflect either. Had Heather Crossin posted her question on one of the Common Core help websites she might have received such an answer and helped avoid making Common Core a political football.
—Lane Walker, St. Charles, Mo.

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Forget the debate about whether the standards are good or not. Stories already abound about socialist indoctrination in curricula developed for these standards. Common Core must be resisted and defeated.
—Jeff Singletary, Lebanon, Ind.

The Gates Foundation spokesman said it supported Common Core because it gave disadvantaged students “high expectations to aim for.” Disadvantaged students respond to people—teachers, community mentors, even their parents—not some government standards.
—Mark Anderson, Wilmington, N.C.

As a long-time math teacher, I believe the biggest problem is that we have not forced students to learn their math facts—the addition and multiplication of integers—and so they cannot think mathematically. We need to improve our teacher training and then hold our students to a higher standard.
— Allan Reichenbach, Langhorne, Pa.

The parents opposing Common Core are mistaken. Admittedly the state standards need refining, but teachers need to teach the processes so children can continue to find the right answers.
—Herbert G. Emert, Norristown, Pa.

‘Rapid response’

Oct. 5  As a Boy Scout, I am happy that Trail Life USA has formed but will not be joining. Instead of viewing the Boy Scout policy change primarily as a disgusting breach of all that BSA stands for (although I do), I also see it as a new opportunity for evangelism.
—Samuel I. Tschappler, Peyton, Colo.

Why is Trail Life trying to reinvent the wheel? Similar programs with a Christian worldview already exist. One, Christian Service Brigade, has been around since 1937. It has books, uniforms, achievement badges, and 11 summer camps.
—Jack Giblin, Waxhaw, N.C.

Originally I thought gay-rights activism was about equal rights for gays. Gradually, I began to understand that it’s about the propagation of special rights for gays. More and more, I see gay rights as an all-out attack on biblical Christianity.
—Jim Craig, Richland Center, Wis.

 ‘Certain about uncertainty’

Oct. 5  Frank Schaeffer should have paid more attention to dear old dad. Francis Schaeffer pointed out that changes in philosophy drive changes in culture, and those influences eventually filter down to the church. The Emergent Church is floating along on this existential undercurrent, but it cannot drift in this sea without getting lost.
—Gary Russell, Bemidji, Minn.

Studying to find the factual certainty of Christianity did not bring me closer to Jesus. Instead, Jesus drew me close and then took me on a journey of study that led to certainty. We should join Jesus in pursuing “uncertain” people. I bet we can find some at the next Wild Goose Festival.
—Patrick Whipple, Elizabeth City, N.C.

This column was chock full of gems on the oxymoron that there are “absolutely no absolutes.” Forty years ago in Western North Carolina I offered up a prayer to the Creator of those hills and He guided me to John 14:6: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life.’” These words transformed my heart and help me be certain that there is no other Savior and Redeemer but King Jesus.
—George A. Damoff, Farmers Branch, Texas

‘Connect the dots’

Oct. 5  I’m puzzled about how Cam Lee of Fight the New Drug will battle porn while staying away from “morals and values” and focusing on “science and facts,” as if sex is merely a chemical reaction. Every man I know who trumped porn addiction at some point had to move from “this is fun” and “I deserve this” to “I’m objectifying women” and “I’m being a predator.”
—David B. Sable, Deep Gap, N.C.

Human trafficking is such a huge industry and business, and that should motivate us to take action.
—Sam Baik, El Dorado Hills, Calif.

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