Being a retired career soldier, I am disappointed with the recent slights directed at our military personnel. Those that have served in actual combat can’t believe the reports depicted on television news. Each of those individuals killed in combat since the so-called government shutdown was honorably serving their country. Their families under the best treatment when losing a loved one are devastated. I cannot imagine the impact of total disregard by the country they love.
My name is Van Osborne, father of Diogenee Osborne. Diogenee attended New Living Word School (NLWS) in Ruston for three years. She earned state honors twice in track and field (discus), she went to regionals twice in shot-put, was a three-year starter on the girls basketball team and elected captain her senior year. She also found time to be a cheerleader and graduated as valedictorian with a 3.9 GPA.
Louisiana has averaged 49th in child well-being among the states for 26 years. According to The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT annual reports, in terms of child well-being, Louisiana’s children, “our children,” would have been better off living in 48 other states — for 26 years.
We are still near our worst which was back in 1990, when Louisiana ranked 51st in child well-being. That’s right — 51st in the nation. In 1990, Washington, D. C., then at the epicenter of the nation’s crack epidemic, was caring for children better than we were.
While skimming the local newspaper on a recent morning, my attention was arrested by a list of local public schools and their corresponding School Performance Scores (SPS).
For anyone who values education, the scores were abysmal. While in most cases there were slight increases in SPS from 2010 to 2011, the letter grades representing the schools’ final score were enough to make one cringe. The list was rather objectively titled “The Road to Progress” (Daily Leader, Oct. 19), but I wondered whether it was as a result of an acknowledgement of the pitiful state of Louisiana’s education system that the author had not, in a spirit of greater positivity, titled the article “On the Road to Progress.” Perhaps it was merely for lack of space.