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Today's Opinions

  • Testing the best way to measure what is taught

    “Students are more than a test score, and so are their teachers,” headlines a recent Roane County News article.  

    Of course, but that’s not the point of the article.

    The point of the article is that judging teachers by how much the teacher’s students have learned during the year is unfair.

    I attended grade school, high school, college and graduate school.  

    Nearly all the teachers I had believed they could tell what I learned by giving me a test or, usually, several tests.  

  • GUEST OPINION: Religion fight at Kansas school unnecessary

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    Back to school means back to culture wars for Minneha Core Knowledge Elementary School in Wichita, Kan.

    On the very first day of school, someone snapped a photo of a bulletin board display in the hallway featuring the Five Pillars of Islam and then posted it on Facebook.

    “This is a school that banned all forms of Christian prayer,” said the caption under the photo. “This can not stand.”

  • Misspelled sign photo troublesome for Tea Party

    A couple weeks or so ago, the Roane County News chose to print a picture of a Tea Party member holding a sign with the word “Impeach,” as in “Impeach Obama” — except the sign was spelled wrong.
    Since the photographer took many more pictures of Roane County Tea Party members holding the signs, why was the only one that was misspelled make it into the paper?
    The girls who made the signs ran out of room for all of the letters only on that one sign.

  • Old Blackie — time to ditch her or save her?

    Lawns, loyalty and luck — they are three things that would seem at first to have no connection to each other.

    But I am a loyal person with a car parked on my lawn, and for the life of me, I cannot imagine life without the old black Honda. It’s sitting there, depriving the grass of sunlight, rare though it has been these past months.

  • GUEST OPINION: We all hold the news media accountable

    By GENE POLICINSKI
    First Amendment Center
    Given that the First Amendment precludes the government from being an actual “watchdog on news media,” who else steps in to call the news media to account?

    In today’s world, increasingly it is citizen — critics or organizations outside of mainstream journalism, empowered by the Web’s ability for two-way conversations and comments, and by independence from past restraints of expensive printing presses and broadcast machinery.

  • A VIEW from LICK SKILLET: Thoughts on Rhea County sights, other oddities

    Gentle reader, it has occurred to us that two issues presently concerning the powers that be in the Federal District, namely the invasions of privacy inherent in the collection of citizens’ telephone calls and electronic transmitted messages, and the perilous state of the Post Office might both be resolved by one simple solution: You want to send a message? Write a letter.

  • GUEST OPINION: Gay equality trumps religious objections

    By CHARLES C. HAYNES
    First Amendment Center
    In the wake of two favorable Supreme Court decisions, gay-rights proponents got another boost this month with the release of State of the First Amendment: 2013, a public-opinion survey supported by the First Amendment Center.

    According to the new poll, a majority of Americans (62 percent) now agrees that religiously affiliated groups receiving government funds can be required to provide health benefits to same-sex couples, even if the group has religious objections to same-sex marriage or partnerships.

  • The sting of that attack still burns — and itches

    Like Middle-Eastern terrorists, they were lying in wait, armed and dangerous, with revenge on their minds.

    Territorial, yes, and very capable of serious damage and inflicting terrible pain.

    Camouflaged by bands of colors —  dull reds, yellows and darker tones against a background of dull grays — they were virtually invisible.

    Unaware of their presence and intent, I blundered into their field of fire.