Readers write about why the US must stabilize Afghanistan, making science teachers a priority in US schools, ending greyhound racing, and why a college degree may not necessarily lead to a job.
To help Afghans, US must stabilize Afghanistan
Regarding the Dec. 22 Opinion piece, "Why give now?": Those in the greatest need are often those who are the hardest to help. That is because the reason they are in need is because they live in a country with a bad government that provides little security.
In Afghanistan, America had the chance to help some of the world's neediest people by not only giving them the basics needed to survive, but to help them build a government that could provide security and economic opportunity.
Vengeance and retribution became our focus after Sept. 11. We lost our ability to see what was important for a country, such as Afghanistan, to become stable. We must regain this ability if our humanitarian contributions are to be effective in the future.
Make science teaching a priority
In regard to the Dec. 29 article, "Wanted: More science and math teachers in the US": In my work with science programs over the last 35 years, I have seen how school systems fail science teachers and cause many to leave.
Recently, I listened for over an hour to a group of science resource teachers in a nearby large school system as one after another told of missing equipment, lack of supplies and textbooks, and the administrative deaf ears on which their requests fell. The kids were fine. The teachers love teaching science. But the system let them down and many were ready to quit. Most had been in the job for less than three years.
My daughter, a science resource teacher in another system, is ready to quit that job. Although she is paid the same stipend as other subject areas, she has the additional tasks of ordering and inventorying science supplies and equipment, dealing with lab safety issues, and disposing of biological and chemical waste. Then she has the same preparation as the other resource teachers.