State Education Commissioner Jeff Riley and the Board’s changing of MCAS standards are not well intentioned for mostly urban neighborhoods. Is this because most of the board members neither live in nor have ever taught in them? 

You can’t craft standards to fit Weston or Newton in the same way you can for New Bedford or Lawrence. The inequality of income will always mean urban kids will struggle to keep up with their well-heeled neighbors.

What is the absentee rate in Newton? I bet it’s not 54%. When you are not in school you can’t learn. If you had a job and you didn’t show up 50% of the time would you still have one? We have to think out of the box, how to incentivize learning so kids will want to attend and teachers want to teach instead of becoming stressed out and leaving in droves.

And why are music and art the first to suffer as if both are not related to math and perspective skills? And please. Looking at the 40% of kids who are obese today, we could use a lot more recess or phys-ed time.

Less drill to the test and more teach to the moment! Does somebody need to teach the board?

George Kontanis is a Dartmouth resident


Clean energy and offshore wind: Our best chance

The funding and permitting of American offshore wind has been marked by delay after delay, despite the extraordinary success of offshore wind throughout Europe and in China.  

I’m writing in response to the story Head of NOAA Fisheries visits New Bedford, impact of offshore wind development on fishing a concern.

For thousands of years we have made lifestyle and work plans according to a fairly stable climate. We no longer have that stability. Clean energy, offshore wind being our most powerful technology to combat this crisis, is our best chance of diminishing the acidification and warming of the ocean that has already impacted our oysters, clams and other bivalves. Ocean Conservancy fears that juvenile scallops are next. 

It is the exhaust from burning fossil fuels that is causing this degradation of our marine wildlife. We need fishermen, scallopers, clammers and others who have been impacted by the changes in the ocean to encourage the most polluting fossil fuel industries to help us transition immediately to clean energy. 

Our oceans and wildlife need a fighting chance to restore themselves. Coal, gas and oil companies should not be allowed to use record profits to purchase stock buybacks. They have known the dangers to our atmosphere and oceans for many decades. Why should they be allowed to profit?  Why isn’t the Fishing Coalition suing fossil fuels?  

Jan Kubiac is a Hyannis resident