Salem Community Patriot | November 4, 2011 - 3
The Word Around Town... Letters to our Editor
Washington Needs to Share the Pain
Washington lawmakers can take immediate action to significantly improve the bottom line of our federal budgets. It will be easy to do, but only if our government has the courage to implement these suggested changes.
Te first is one that they will be reluctant to do, because it will affect them while benefiting taxpayers. I’m suggesting that our legislators, the president, and their senior staff take pay cuts of twenty percent for a period of fifteen years. Over the past several years many taxpayers haven’t seen an increase in pay or only received a minimal increase. Many have actually experienced pay cuts. However, this pales in comparison to the 9.1 percent who are unemployed and those who have stopped seeking employment. It’s time for Washington legislators to share the pain. Politician’s benefits should be in line with what American citizens receive. Tey need to subscribe to similar pension and health plans that America businesses have and most importantly they need to pay into social security. Get rid of the prodigal retirement pensions, healthcare, sick and vacation time they currently enjoy. It’s obscene as compared to what the American worker has, or, doesn’t have. Secondly, the president needs to limit the first family’s use of Air Force One. Corporate America has cut down on business travel and does more communicating via video conferencing. American citizens have had to cut their vacations as well. Obama needs to demonstrate that he can be as frugal as so many Americans are being forced to be. Te costs associated with his and his family’s travel are astronomical and unnecessary during these tough times. Next, the President, Congress and the Senate need to cut their staffs and look at eliminating “the nice-to- have” things in their budgets.
Legislators need to take action on line items where
taxpayers will see an immediate savings by eliminating all “Pork” line items.
Lawmakers need to look at eliminating fraud in Medicare, Medicaid and welfare.
Te Washington Post reported
that over the past five years the Office of Personnel Management made payments of more than $601million to deceased federal annuitants. Tey need to stop paying deceased federal workers. Consider the millions that would be saved if the government resolved the illegal immigration problem. Imagine not spending dollars on welfare for illegals or their health care and education. With our high unemployment, I believe Americans would take jobs currently held by illegal immigrants. Te government should
not provide financial aid to corporations who ship jobs overseas. Use those funds to assist businesses generating jobs in the U.S.
Te government should do something about putting to work those who are on welfare and the unemployed so they can contribute their fair share in taxes. Our nation is trillions of dollars in debt and it needs to cut down on the aid it provides to overseas nations. Why is Hillary Clinton Rodman promising financial aid to Libya? Why is Obama sending military advisors to Africa? Don’t we have enough debt? Te deployment of our troops needs to be significantly reduced, especially from Europe since the cold war is over. Have our troops spend their pay checks in the U.S. All of these actions would result in significant savings. All of the above could happen if our elected officials were serious about resolving our budget problems. Our legislators need to stop taking from the middle
class and turning them into the working poor. It is time for our political leaders to share the pain. If you agree, suggest these actions
to your legislators. Ron Penczak - Salem
NH Students Continue to Excel on the NAEP Mathematics and Reading Assessments
submitted by NH Department of Education The release of Grades four and eight Mathematics and Reading results for the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), often referred to as “the Nation’s Report Card,” given to New Hampshire students last school year confirms the academic achievement of New Hampshire students. For both assessments in both grades, the percentage of New Hampshire students demonstrating Proficiency on the NAEP assessment increased compared to the previous assessment given in 2009. Along with Massachusetts, New Hampshire grade four students, on average, continue to have the highest performance compared to grade four students in all other states and jurisdictions throughout the nation on the NAEP Mathematics assessment. For Reading, New Hampshire grade four students retained their standing as one of the top-six highest performing states in the nation. Of the six, only Massachusetts had higher achievement that was statistically significant compared to New Hampshire. For grade eight, New Hampshire students were among the top-ten highest performing states in the Nation on both the Mathematics and Reading assessments. Only two states - Massachusetts and Minnesota, had higher achievement that was statistically significant compared to New Hampshire on the grade eight Mathematics assessment. For Reading, only three states - Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey, had higher achievement that was statistically significant compared to New Hampshire’s grade eight students. With the exception of grade eight Mathematics, New Hampshire students saw an Average Scale Score increase of one point in 2011 compared to the previous NAEP assessment in 2009. New Hampshire students reaching an achievement level of at or above Proficient also increased by one percentage point for grades four and eight Mathematics and grade eight Reading, while grade four Reading experienced an increase of two percentage points from 2009 to 2011. The National Assessment of Educational Progress is conducted at both the state and the national level. For both grades, four and eight, the Scale Scores were set ranging from zero to 500. With respect to achievement levels for the assessment, the Proficient level represents solid academic performance with a demonstration of competency of challenging subject matter. For the NAEP 2011 Mathematics assessment, nearly 200,000 grade four students and 165,000 grade eight students were assessed nationwide. In New Hampshire, approximately 3,300 grade four students and 2,700 grade eight students were assessed. For the NAEP 2011 Reading assessment, approximately 203,000 grade four students and 158,000 grade eight students were assessed nationwide. In New Hampshire, approximately 3,300 grade four students and 2,600 grade eight students were assessed. NAEP selects a representative sample of students by first randomly selecting schools and then selecting the students within those schools who will participate in a given NAEP assessment. Because of the matrix sampling NAEP does not provide individual scores for students or schools. The New Hampshire students sampled from both grades and for both NAEP assessments resembled the actual demographics of the entire New Hampshire student population for both grades. In order to provide a better understanding of NAEP results and trend implications, New Hampshire’s NAEP State Coordinator prepared two trend analysis reports for the New Hampshire Department of Education (Grades four and eight Reading Results Trend Analysis www.education.nh.gov/instruction/assessment/
naep/documents/reading_trend_analysis2011.pdf and Grades four and eight Mathematics Results Trend Analysis www.edu
analysis2011.pdf. Both reports look at NAEP result from 2003 to 2011, providing comparisons to the Nation, New England states, and student subgroups within New Hampshire. The reports include demographic descriptions for each state and jurisdiction in the United States, including race/ethnicity, socio-economic, English language proficiency, Disability status, and per pupil expenditure. Trend analysis is provided for each demographic subgroup as well as student performance differences based upon parental education
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levels. Finally, trend analysis on sub-measures of each assessment is provided. For questions regarding New Hampshire’s NAEP 2011 Mathematics and Reading results or the NAEP 2003-2011 Trend Analysis reports, contact Tim Eccleston, New Hampshire’s NAEP State Coordinator at 271-2298 or Timothy.Ec
. Additional NAEP information can also be found at our Website, www.education.nh.gov/instruction/assessment/naep/index
. htm or the Nation’s Report Card Website, www.nces.ed.gov/
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