Letters to the Editor: August 23 – 29, 2012

F.C. Citizens Have Got What They Voted For


This is a classic example of you get what you vote for. All Falls Churchians who voted against the CBC slate in the last election voted against the CBC mandate of 50 years of supporting Falls Church City Schools.

Anyone who paid attention to the dynamics of the election and who voted for Johanna Barry and Ira Kaylin because they wanted “change” are getting it. Same goes for those Council members voting for Nader again — anyone paying attention to the dynamics of the Mayor’s last term knew exactly what they were getting. Everyone in the City with children of school age who plans on sending their kids to the public schools needs to vote for candidates who will support the schools wholeheartedly and paying empty lip service during the campaign does not cut it. Everyone in the City who owns their home and who likes their City of Falls Church school system premium needs to vote for candidates who will support the schools. I hope to see all of you at the polls in November.

Julie Krachman

Via the Internet


Wants to Know Why Sudden Need for Laptops


Typical of governments, a surplus emerges and all the vultures quickly arrive with important “needs” to spend, or should I say invest the tax payer’s money. One can predict this as easy as saying the sun will come up tomorrow.

Yes, it is important, very important that our students be kept current with technology. Have our schools eliminated anything to accommodate and make available technological advances? It would be nice to see some common measurement of the school’s costs such as the annual cost per student. How does the Falls Church cost per student compare to other school districts in the area, the Commonwealth and nationally? And in inflation adjusted dollars what is the Falls Church trend? For example, what was the cost per student in Falls Church in 2010, 2000, 1990 and 1980?

Mr. Rasnake notes “[w]e all know the City and the schools have a growing list of unmet needs.” And “We need to upgrade our technology in our schools and we need to do it right now.” Then he quotes Superintendent Dr. Toni Jones’ “eloquent” statement – “Digital literacy is an expectation for children, and to be successful in school they must have access.”

So, Falls Church has a critical need for our students “to be successful” and we need it “right now.” Wow! This leads, at least this one poor taxpayer to ponder. What level of stewardship, management and strategic planning are the Falls Church citizens receiving from its high cost school Administration and Board?

Richard C. La Velle

Falls Church


Mason High Grad Says “We Did Fine” Sans Laptops


This past June I graduated from George Mason High School. For the greater majority of our lives, my classmates and I spent our years attending Falls Church City Public Schools, from TJ to GMHS. Throughout this time, we operated without city-funded laptops or iPads and we did just fine. I feel every one of my classmates is of the opinion that such so-called “upgrades” would not in any way contribute to the learning of an FCCPS student.

What I think many people are failing to consider is the school’s curriculum. Classes are designed to be taught without the need for portable electronics, and seeing as all of my teachers advocated an “off-and-away” policy when it came to using cell phones in class, I doubt that the proposed upgrades would amount to anything other than perhaps the ability for students to take notes digitally. I think many of this city’s parents believe that should we adopt these devices, the school would auto-magically transform into a utopian hub for entirely digital communication and learning, but that’s simply not the case. From Physics to History to English to Calculus, all my classes consisted entirely of two things: 90% note-taking, and about 10% activity/discussion. Were we to give every student an iPad or laptop, all it would introduce to the learning environment is the potential to distract.

I’m not writing this because of any sure-to-be-assumed spite that my class didn’t get such upgrades, I’m not writing this because I’m against technology and I’m certainly not writing this because I’m at all worried about taxpayer money. Frankly, I don’t really care what’s done with the money, I just figured I’d give the student opinion to this whole controversy in hopes that the city wouldn’t invest in such an embarrassingly colossal waste. The schools do need money – classes are packed with upwards of 30 or more students, teachers are financially discontent, many school events and field trips remain unfunded and some of our schools’ older facilities are in dire need of renovation – but to simply ignore all of this and blow the money on tech because it seems like “all the cool schools are doing it” would be absolutely laughable.

Alec Faulkner

Falls Church


Says F.C. GOP Did Not Endorse Council Actions


Your editorial on August 16 indicated that “The last thing those on the Council who voted against the schools Monday needed in this heavily Democratic town was for their stance to be endorsed by the City’s Republican Committee….” The Falls Church City Republican Committee did not endorse and does not intend to endorse any action by the Council.

Individual Republicans are free to say whatever they want and several have done so, but there has been no action by the Committee, nor will there be.

Ken Feltman, Chair

Falls Church City Republican Committee

(Editor replies — An email urging opposition to the School Board request was sent out from “The Falls Church Republican Committee.”) 


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