Megan Valley’s February 11 story on Iowa’s fourth-grade reading scores ignored significant statewide initiatives that are improving student achievement. Top among these is Iowa’s Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) system.
Valley’s assessment that Iowa has "no comparable initiative" to Mississippi’s 74 literacy coaches supporting 171 schools is simply inaccurate. Iowa has nearly 1,500 instructional coaches supporting teachers in all 327 school districts. And that is only part of a force of more than 10,000 teacher leaders working in a range of formal roles designed to strengthen instruction and improve student learning.
Not only has TLC opened new career pathways for educators, the system has sparked increases in teacher retention and professional collaboration. Most important, the share of schools meeting their local student achievement goals has grown by eight percentage points in three years.
Valley only needed to look in the Quad City Times’ own backyard to see the impact TLC and instructional coaches are having, not just on literacy but on instruction overall. Pleasant Valley Community School District reported that over 98 percent of teachers agree that their teaching practices and student learning have improved through their partnership with their instructional coach.
And Iowa’s efforts to improve reading results are not limited to just TLC. Iowa’s Early Literacy Initiative and the Iowa Reading Research Center are also supporting schools as they actively work to raise reading proficiency rates. While state comparisons are fair in analyzing performance, ignoring Iowa’s efforts to improve results is not.
Supposedly, about half of all Americans approve of President Trump's performance. What exactly do they find admirable? His beautiful manners? His tact and diplomacy? His brilliant foreign policy? Maybe his business acumen? I'll admit his 16,000 lies (to date) is quite the legacy.
What I want to know is, do these people identify with Trump? Do they want to emulate him? God help us!
Trump is meaner than a junk-yard dog. He is venal, vindictive, cruel and stupid. Re-elect Trump and you will witness the suicide of our democratic republic and the birth of a dictatorship — a very scary prospect. I cannot believe half the country wants that.
Democratic candidates for the nomination claim they can "unify the country." A pretty sentiment. How do they plan to do that? Not since the 1860's has our country been more divided, and you know what that led to.
The upcoming election will determine whether America's noble experiment in self-government will survive.
Our current elected representation is not, in fact, representing us. The gutless wonders sitting in the Senate march to Trump's drumbeat, not ours. We not only need a different president (one who can read and write would be nice), but we need a working Congress that will sustain our form of government. We need the restoration of the Republican Party.
Did you read that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, recently introduced a motion to support Iranian protesters demonstrating against the country’s hard-line religious regime?
The resolution would have condemned the killing of protesters as well as the destruction of Flights 752 and 176. It went on to condemn the Iranian government for lying to its people and the rest of the world, asked Iran to recognize the rights of free expression and peaceful assembly, and finally stated its support for the protesters and their demands for basic democratic rights.
Most rational people wouldn’t think there was anything controversial or partisan in this resolution, but House Democrats didn’t agree. To avoid having to vote against the motion, Democrats used a procedural move to block it. Rep. Cheri Bustos voted with her party.
It’s time to turn the House leadership over to Republicans. The Democrats are the party of no. Anything Trump wants, the Democrats are against.
Iran has a history of brutally crushing dissent. Approximately 1,500 anti-regime protesters were murdered last year. Qasem Soleimani, the Revolutionary Guard terror chief killed in a recent U.S. airstrike, gave the orders.
We should all condemn the cynical move by Democrats. This is not the time for partisan politics. This is a golden opportunity for the U.S. Congress to speak with one unified voice.
Now the trial is over, if it falls into that category. Or is it? At least we won't have to watch it all unfold, I hope. Teflon Don has struck again. No matter what he has been accused of, past, present or future, it will bounce off him.
I was at a precinct caucus the Monday before last — total chaos, no script, doors left open till 7:10, had to do a head count twice, etc. If this is Democrats at their best, forget Washington.
I got an email from Rep. Cheri Bustos with her picture. She was wearing white to celebrate when women first obtained the right to vote and had just come from the House floor where the State of the Union address was delivered. I asked her to help find a way to celebrate the day when all Americans (no matter what color, creed or religion) obtained the right to vote.
I also said I see President Trump as merely a show-piece for the Republican-dominated Senate's dog-and-pony-show to take our focus off their underhanded dirty work and selfish agenda. (This includes settling only one tiny aspect of the trade war with China to help only large corporate farmers, the lack of help for lowering the cost of drugs, failing to make the cost and coverage of health insurance available for those with pre-existing health conditions, refusing to tax the extremely wealthy to relieve the burden for the middle-class, and resisting real world solutions to combat global warming and restore our environment).
I am praying for President Trump, for the blinders to be removed and the curtain to fall from his eyes so he can see what a fool they are playing him for. Shame on them. He is a self-centered maniac. He is not certifiable, just ignorant of what's really going on.
The acquittal of President Trump finally has happened. While I think this is good, my concern is that it has transpired over three years. The Democrats were adamant to get Trump out of office. I think they must really have hard hearts.
Now, where did the hard hearts come from? The "get Trump attitude" was present even before the election as the Democrats had a contingency plan just in case he was elected. This attitude has prevailed for over three years and may still not be dead. Again, why is there so much hate for Trump? What did he do? He really was never given a chance.
Maybe it is because he is not a politician and not a member of the political elite. Maybe he told the truth and that Washington was corrupt and he was elected to "drain the swamp." Maybe it is because he really became pro-life and realized the importance of the child in the womb. And maybe, just maybe, he recognized the dependence of the United States of America on the dependency of God and not man.
It is clear that Trump loves America and loves the flag and the ultimate sacrifices some Americans gave for our freedom.
I do not believe Democrats like anything in America, especially Trump.
Natural gas and oil are the lifeblood of this country. Frankly, they keep America moving.
Reliance on imported energy from overseas sources has caused trouble in the past. For the first time in our history, the United States is the leading producer of domestic energy. What a relief it is to not only meet our own domestic energy needs but also be able to export the surplus to our allies. Anti-fossil fuel policies should never see the light of day. We need to do more exploration and development in offshore areas where abundant supplies exist in the Atlantic, the Pacific and parts of the Gulf of Mexico.
U.S. energy companies provide millions of jobs to hard-working Americans, many of whom are veterans having transitioned out of the military after serving our country. It’s great that there are solid, good paying careers waiting for them in this sector.
As a veteran having served in the Navy, I know the importance of the energy industry because our military is the top consumer of energy, and it makes sense that veterans are sought after by the industry. Domestic production and being able to cultivate ample supplies to meet our energy needs keeps America safe and energy secure.
Profiles in cowardice! Profiles in spinelessness! Those are the words we find in the dictionary to describe each and every one of the Senate Republicans who just handed over to President Trump the keys to the kingdom. It doesn’t take a person with an IQ above that of a dead plant to see that the Republican- controlled Senate did not live up to its constitutional responsibility to hold a fair trial with witnesses and documents.
In an April 2016 interview with Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Trump is quoted as saying, "Real power is — I don’t even want to use the word — fear." And that is exactly why the Senate Republicans folded like accordions. Rep. Adam Schiff’s comment regarding a CBS report that a Trump confidant said that key senators were warned, “Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike” was spot on. It is a known fact that Trump vilifies anyone who opposes him.
The Senate has had 15 impeachment trials in its history, 13 related to federal officials and two presidential trials prior to Trump. In every one there were witnesses. My question is: "Why did Trump’s Republican Senate refuse any additional witnesses? Is it because they were afraid their heads would be "on a pike" if they voted for further damaging witnesses?
The spineless Senate Republicans, who have repeatedly failed to honor their oath regarding Trump, voted to protect themselves from his wrath rather than protect and support our Constitution. They should be ashamed of themselves.
We live in a most privileged time, in the most prosperous nation, and we've become completely blind to it. Vehicles, food, technology, internet, communication and freedom are so ingrained in our American way of life we don't give them a second thought. No one here is considered poor by global standards. Yet, we are unappreciative, unsatisfied, and ungrateful.
Our lack of appreciation is evident as the popularity of socialist policies continues to grow. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said: "An entire generation, which is now becoming one of the largest electorates in America, came of age and never saw American prosperity."
Let that sink in. When I first read that statement, I thought that was quite literally the most entitled and factually illiterate thing I've ever seen. This generation is being indoctrinated to actually believe we have never seen prosperity.
People are dying to get into our country who are destitute and truly impoverished. Yet, we have a young generation convinced they've never seen prosperity, and as a result, elect politicians dead set on taking steps towards abolishing capitalism.
Why? The answer is: this generation has only seen prosperity. They have no contrast. They didn't live in a depression or live through two world wars, the draft, the Korean War, the Vietnam War or see the fall of socialism and communism.
We don't have a lack of prosperity problem. We have an entitlement problem, an ungratefulness problem, and it's being spread by our educational institutions.
The Iowa Caucus is over. The Trump impeachment trial is history. Mitt Romney has achieved sainthood. And the State of the Union was just too great to be true. Democracy is now replaced by corporate plutocracy.
Where do we go from here? Socialism is a system of helping those who have been left behind because of the greed and corruption of our capitalistic system. We no longer have a free market. It is being manipulated every day at the expense of the American consumer; look at drug prices.
How do we change our direction? We need to have more than the two-party monopoly. Neither party is working for the common people. Minimum wage is still $7.25 an hour. And healthcare is unaffordable.
Capitalism only worked when everyone was getting an equal amount of the pie; today, only the ones at the very top are getting the pie. In fact, they own the pie and are unwilling to share it.
That is why we now need more socialism; for those who no longer get any of the pie. They need more government help and assistance in order to survive. We now have to make the big decision: Will capitalism be the downfall of our democracy, or will some form of socialism help those who have been left behind because of capitalism.
At the March for Life in Washington, D.C., President Trump implored attendees to "protect, cherish and defend the dignity and sanctity of every human life."
A few days later at one of his rallies in Iowa, Trump and his worshipers demonized Democrats, liberals and socialists. Following is a brief list of some others whose lives he deems to not be sacred: soldiers who allowed themselves to be captured, anyone who has run against him, anyone who defies his edicts, anyone who wants to protect the environment and climate, transgender people, and the list goes on.
Was his comment at the March for Life fact or fake? Did it expire as soon as he left the platform?
Last May, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas made comments linking abortions and eugenics. Our media refuses to cover this as they did the eugenics movement. The words often attributed to Martin Luther King Jr. come to mind: "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Most Americans have no idea what the eugenics movement was, so here's just a small comparison between abortion and eugenics.
The eugenics movement started in our institutions, where Americans who were criminals, disabled and mentally challenged were the first to be sterilized. Later, doctors were allowed to sterilize America's poor, Native American women, immigrants, homosexuals, non-whites and even promiscuous or unmarried women.
Last December, a doctor in Virginia was arrested for sterilizing patients without their knowledge or permission. Women today have no idea why their prayers were left unanswered to be blessed with a baby because someone deemed them as unfit.
We know with over 60 million abortions, Hispanics and Black Americans make up 25% of the population but 50% of abortions. Add in America's poor and promiscuous or unmarried women, and that will make up a majority of the remaining abortions. These were some of the very same groups sterilized under the eugenics movement. These sterilizations were done to eliminate the "unfit."
Margaret Sanger, founder of the predecessor to Planned Parenthood, had the same goal.
I found Sarah Hayden’s 700-word article Jan. 20 about Rep. Cheri Bustos a convincing expose of not only how far out of touch Bustos is with the voters, but with reality. My complete 800-word rebuttal can be found on my blog page at electfawell.org.
First, I’ll not belabor Bustos' distaste for the partisan circus against President Trump that both she and her fellow Democrats have unleashed into a sharply divided America. Who would want to take responsibility for such irresponsibility?
Second, Bustos doesn’t serve the people because she’s too busy representing her party. After eight years in office, she still doesn’t hold a leadership post in a congressional committee where she can really do her constituents any good. But she does serve her party as DCCC chair, and no one can serve two masters.
Now on the Appropriations Committee, she wants to know what the communities in the district need; but after 8 years, shouldn’t she already know?
Today, her farming plan includes the Rural Green Partnership, climate change legislation, greater conservation methods and a pipeline to scavenge CO2, all party mantras that have nothing to do with serving the people of the 17th district.
What this means is the government is not only going to start telling farmers how to farm, but spend billions of taxpayer dollars on a pipeline that is going to carry nothing but red herrings.
I have a better idea. I call it "The Fly Over America Act" and you can read about it on my website. God Bless.
Note: Fawell is a Republican candidate for Congress in the 17th district.
In 1984, after a post basic-training leave, I drove my Jeep from Moline to Fort Lewis, Washington. After check-in, while driving around the nearby city of Tacoma, I noticed an odor. My first thought? "There's a moldy, leftover cheeseburger under the seat." Back at the barracks, I unloaded the Jeep. What stinks? Dead mouse? Dirty underwear? Neither. It was the air. Tacoma's paper mills emit an unpleasant aroma. One gets used to it. Mystery solved.
Something similar recently occurred in my home. A sniff revealed something stinky. "What's that smell?"
I'd noticed it while watching a somber Speaker Nancy Pelosi smirk her way through a solemn signing ceremony, replete with souvenir pens.
It temporarily dissipated.
Periodically, I'd "catch a whiff" when reading the increasingly disjointed diatribes in the "letters" section of the newspaper, as authors took my "writing advice" to the next level.
A month later, the odor returned during a mock funeral procession ferrying impeachment articles to the Senate.
The stench increased as the Schiff/Nadler brigade used every second of their allotted 24 hours to describe a five-minute phone call.
I had to open the window when Pelosi suggested the president's defense attorneys be disbarred because ... they defended the president.
A thorough search revealed no dog doo behind my couch.
I'd been smelling three things: Pelosi's rotten impeachment hoax, decaying dreams of Trump's removal and the carcass of Democrats' 2020 presidential chances.
Ordinarily, this charnel-house reek would be sickening.
Not today. Like napalm in the morning, this smells like victory.
I am writing in regard to a recently televised comment from Dave Millage, chairman of the Scott County Republicans, concerning Mitt Romney.
As a retired teacher, I have dealt with bullying tactics. I know what it looks like and what it does to the victim. It flourishes on social media since the guilty party does not have to face his victim and discuss the situation. Discussion means opening our minds, learning something new and empathizing with others. Bullying is rampant with name calling (something Donald Trump is an expert at, tagging others with inappropriate nicknames). Bullying includes phrases like "move to another country," "get him/her out of here" or in the worst scenario, "just kill yourself."
I was appalled when Millage spoke for the Republican Party and suggested that Romney should be "shunned."
I have belonged to many organizations socially, politically and in the job world. We have always welcomed differing opinions. Again, that is how we grow in our knowledge and view of those around us. These groups admired individuals who stood for their beliefs. It shows that the person studied the issues with an open mind and had the bravery to support their values regardless of what others think.
I myself have voted for nominees from both the Republican and Democratic parties. I have tried to study the issues and align myself with the individual who best represents my values. I will continue to think for myself, ignore the bullies and follow my conscience.
With the recent turnover of some Moline staff, some residents, including myself, wondered if the council was inappropriately micro-managing. I have talked to several aldermen and others close to the situation to get more background. My conclusion is the council is acting appropriately and some of the staff turnover is appropriate.
An example is the Bass Street Landing project. Situated on land owned by the city, the developer agreed to lease payments and minimum assessed valuations when entering into the development agreement. Over the years, payments were not made and city staff did little to enforce the agreement.
In about 2018, staff recommended forgiving all past-due lease payments, interest and penalties plus cede land worth $500,000 to the developer for $10 and future parking fees.
When asked numerous times for past-due amounts and the ramifications of this transaction, the staff did not respond in a timely manner. Research done after some staff resigned showed the taxpayers would have forgiven $800,000 in unpaid rent and $600,000 in fees and interest, in addition to having to repay the federal department of Housing and Urban Development several hundred thousand dollars. That’s wrong for the taxpayers.
This was not the only development project that went sour, costing Moline and a local bank several million dollars. In my opinion, staff was somewhat culpable in that matter, too.
I am pleased the council is asking the hard questions to protect the taxpayer. I am convinced that replacement staff will do a better job. Thanks to the council for doing its job.
"What's good for the goose is good for the gander."
"Media coverage is still biased."
Why do men and women continue to tolerate the media's double standard for printing and broadcasting issues about women? The media is focusing ad nauseam on the actions of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a woman, but ignores President Trump's appalling action of shunning her hand shake. When will the media be fair and unbiased toward women?
The impeachment process is over. What were the messages sent to the voters?
The president and his men are above the law.
We would be in jail if we ignored a subpoena from Congress.
Our representatives and senators have more allegiance to their political parties than they have to the Constitution. If that were not true, more of them would have voted for the other side.
But none of this matters in the long run. Our national debt is $23.5 trillion and rising rapidly. Every cent of this debt was approved by Congress. Many of those members of Congress have been re-elected for years. This nation will surely collapse due to fiscal irresponsibility, and chaos will follow.
Don't like this kind of government? Go to the polls and vote for somebody else.
Strangely, Republicans voted in lock-step against witnesses and documents in the Trump trial. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, explained in plain English, not Alan Dershowitz nonsense, why this was not surprising to him.
After Citizens United allowed large donors to avoid identifying themselves, a few of the largest Republican donors joined forces and gave Mitch McConnell authority to dispense their funds for senatorial elections. This gave McConnell the power to keep his caucus in line by turning off the election money spigot to any senator not voting with him.
We first saw this picture when Chuck Grassley and McConnell blocked Supreme Court hearings for nominee Merrick Garland.
When someone tells you that the upcoming election will be the most important in your lifetime, believe them.
I hope all my fellow Iowans enjoyed our first-in-the-nation caucus events. I say this because with this year's Democratic snafus, it will probably be our last. So sad. Iowa will now drift into obscurity as just another parcel of heartland flyover country. And we can get back to what we do best — raising corn, soybeans and hogs. Never to be heard from again.
The following statements are strong indicators of President Trump's instincts and morality:
He has lied approximately 16,000 times since being elected as our president. His lies were spoken to mislead the United States citizens and voters.
Is he really Putin's punk? I think so, but I'll leave that to your imagination.
Among his lies: He told us he was going to repeal Obamacare and replace it with another health-care system that would have far more benefits and at a much lower cost for us. Trump has hardly mentioned Obamacare's name, nor has he proposed any plan for Congress to act on.
Should we voters be more concerned today? He is supporting legislation which would outlaw and make Obamacare illegal to purchase. That issue is being considered by the U.S. Supreme Court, and many think the answer will not be determined until after the November election.
He has filed for bankruptcy several times. When bankruptcies occur, this leads to depositors earning less from interest, so to cover for the bankruptcies loss, you and I really pay for it.
The Super Bowl pre-game and football game were super. The halftime performance and the much ballyhooed ads were not. (Think the Democrats' caucus reporting.)
Our teen grandchildren were with us for the Super Bowl. A few moments into the halftime show, my wife would have flung a sheet over the TV if one had been at hand. The Super Bowl is billed as "family entertainment." The halftime was not family entertainment. But sadly, things have been trending in that direction.
I guess some songs were sung? (Rhythmic shouting?) The costume designer for J.Lo and Shakira was apparently a slightly shy person from a nudist colony.
Online, some were praising the halftime stars: "They were superb athletic performers."
Yes, I wanted to see superb athletic performers, which is why I was watching the football game.
I can only recall one product that was advertised.
Next year, bring back marching bands. But keep the fireworks. I like fireworks.
February is the month of love. However, do we really know what love is?
Poets and philosophers grapple with trying to explain it. So who am I to try to solve the mystery? I am one who simply believes that to love someone, we must truly care about that person. In the bible, 1 Corinthians 13 portrays this concern:
Caring about a person means that we never become jealous, envious, boastful or proud; that we are patient and kind; never haughty, selfish or rude. We do not demand our way. We are not irritable or touchy. We do not hold grudges and will hardly notice when others do.
In caring about people, we are never glad about injustice, but rejoice in truth. To care about someone means we are always loyal. We always believe in, expect the best of, and stand our ground in defending those we care about.
Our special gifts from God will come to an end, but genuine concern goes on forever. We know so little, even with our special gifts. However, just as adults no longer think as children, we will no longer have an unclear knowledge of God. We will see everything clearly, just as clearly as God sees into our hearts right now. We need these three things: faith, hope, and a deep concern for mankind. Most importantly, we need to truly care about other people.
My prayer is that we will all seek God as the only source for this kind of love.
I had the privilege of holding our new great grandson — his tiny fingers and beautiful smile. What a beautiful gift from God.
In the January 29, letter to the editor, Mayor Mike Matson, along with others, told us to vote for Joe Biden. How could I vote for someone who supports abortion, the torturing and killing of an unborn baby? All babies created by God have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.