IMPROVEMENT PLAN:VOTE FOR PRINCIPALS
If you want public schools to perform better, let the faculty and staff of each school vote for the principal. Imagine the motivation when everyone who works at the school has a say in the leadership. Most principals receive one of the highest paychecks in the state, yet they don't have to be highly qualified.
Let us publicize the results of the votes and also what happens at each school, for example. If a school has failed accreditation the people should know. If there are serious fights on the campus, the public should be informed. If the lunches are sensational, then let that school be the envy of the state.
We should be like USA Today and list happenings at schools: one week for the high schools; one week for the middle schools; and one week for the elementary schools. We might even have one week for the colleges and universities.
Let us do something different and something meaningful. The speed of the leader determines the speed of the team.Peter T. Coleman Jr.
KEEP IT CLEAN!
SELF-INSPECTION KEY FOR RESTAURANT SAFETY
Last week's closing of a restaurant because of an E. coli outbreak comes as no surprise. Because of economic belt tightening, our state is woefully deficient in the number of food safety inspectors. It becomes the industry's responsibility to protect its investment by training managers and employees.
I teach food safety in the Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Kapi'olani Community College, where I instruct my students that training and self-inspection are the keys to preventing this kind of outbreak. The cost of food safety is an important part of the a successful investment.
When you consider the cost of closing for a day — and worse, the long-term damage to your reputation — ongoing vigilance and training becomes a bargain. The health department does training for free. You can also watch my television show, "Shig Happens!" on Oceanic Cable channel 55 for basic food safety knowledge and tips.
The catch phrase and title of my 1/2-hour show comes from the food-borne illness shigellosis. Shigella is found in human feces and is most often cross-contaminated to food from hands that weren't properly washed after using the toilet. The toxin that E. coli 0157:H7 creates that causes bloody diarrhea is known as a shigatoxin.
It's pretty clear that the number of food safety inspectors isn't going to increase anytime soon, so let's all become akamai about handling and eating food.Harry Holthaus
HEE'S SUGGESTION WON'T HELP STUDENTS
Senator Clayton Hee suggests restoring furlough Fridays, but we need to delete them.
He recommends improving education and saving money by adding hours to the school day and summer break at April 7. Consider the daily mental overload for elementary kids in noisy, hot classrooms and memory retention during long, summer days.
Consider schools with 90 percent free breakfast/lunch populations — and add physical detriment. Add a fee for summer school? Those that need it do not have it.
My spouse is in the classroom prepping until 5:30 p.m. every day, plus two hours every night, on furlough Fridays and during the weekend at home. Will teacher pay be restored or increased at same workload? Do utility savings equate to a 20 percent savings or are these union salary savings?
And which school did Hee recommend closing in his district; Waiāhole, Ka'a'awa, and/or Hau'ula?
Instead, we should support classroom teachers by establishing minimum student behavioral standards, minimum attendance for promotion, corrective action for apathetic parents and students, staff development of basic lesson plans using benchmarks for each subject and grade level with teacher authority to modify if students are above average, and hire reputable, national firm to accomplish a systems analysis of DOE structure and efficiency.John Fox
FOR SOME JOBS, THE PLASTIC BAD IS BEST
Ineed my plastic bags and here's why:
Pick up doggie poop and tie it up. It cuts down on flies, big time. If you see a bug flying in dog poop, (I don't even have a dog), pick it up — it only takes a second, and you'll feel good. Even bread bags and newspaper works well.
Us smokers should pick up our cigarette butts, and any others we see. Maybe other people will be less hard on us. Stores and businesses, put ashtrays outside your doors, and we will use them.
There will always be people who just don't care. Instead of sneering and walking by, stop and pick up the trash you see. Believe me, you will feel better for it.Ann Fong