Why we fight
Editor: I think it’s important to explain the reason why parents are so irate over the cancellation of HP English. The last two articles that appeared in your paper on this topic (“Sound and Fury Over SVHS Honors English Class,” Feb. 13; “Fahrenheit SVHS: High School Backpedals on Honors English,” Feb. 16) made no reference to this and I think the community needs to understand why the fight.
The reason is this – more that 50 percent of our high school students are reading below grade level. Think about this. We need to bring students up to grade level standards not cut grade level English classes! This is a broader problem and can’t be done overnight.
Cutting out a middle level class, which is basically the grade level class, is not the answer! The focus needs to start at the pre-K level and carry on through middle school to high school. It’s important that parents of our elementary and middle schools know this. This is reminiscent of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Parents of students in our school district need to know this. Our community needs to know what our high school is up against and the ways in which they are trying to manage.
This is why I think that it’s important that both sides of the issue be included your stories. There’s a reason for the fight and tenacity to keep our district accountable.
This vocal parent group is calling attention to ineffective programs that have been going on for too long and need to change. We are looking at other districts with similar demographics to see how they fare and what criteria they have in place to close this gap.
The service that the I-T provides our community owes its readers objectively written articles that inform and take into account all aspects of an issue.
Issue is larger than one development
EDITOR: There will be an important meeting at the City Council Chambers on Thursday, March 1 at 5 p.m.
The agenda: An appeal by the community to oppose the development of Schocken Hill. The issue is larger than this one development. There is in place a development code to protect and respect our hillsides.
Does the community prefer more housing for the 1 percent or maintain our environment, trees and hills? Do any of the Planning Commission members have any relationship or association, connection or affiliation with the developers? Ensure our general plan and development code is maintained and respected by attending this important Valley issue and have your voice heard.
Build at the base of Schocken Hill
Editor: In his Valley Forum piece (“Minor Skirmish, or Tempest in a Teapot?” Feb. 23), Bill Jasper would have us believe that the only reason to preserve a hillside in Sonoma Town is, if it is seen from the Plaza. As I understand it in conversations with former council members who drafted the original “Hillside Ordinance” in 2003, they meant to protect all Sonoma whether residential or commercial, whether seen from the Plaza, from the eastside or westside or a fly over. The contested site is Schocken Hill, a very visible prominence driving into Sonoma from the east or walking the very popular Fourth Street East north to Brazil. I call it Sonoma’s signature hill appearing in a rounded ice cream scoop form, rising above the lowlands. It is part meadow and luscious oak forest, has a rock outcropping and a distinctive name.