Letters to the Editor

Parties must work together for change

Books by leading social scientists on how to create laws that foster utilitarianism (i.e. produce the greatest total good) point out that people tend to form "teams," whether in religion or politics. Religion occasionally has great success changing political party priorities (e.g. the civil rights movement). While different religions-denominations have proliferated, our political parties have consolidated. Over time, these two parties have become blinded to each other's wisdom by singularly pursuing their own beliefs, and religion has become a less effective voice of needed change.

I noted a news report on the S.C. Empower Educational Reform summit organized by Republicans, where Jeb Bush urged legislators to increase their use of technology and school choice, which have helped Florida student achievement.

Even though the Democratic administration has a visionary educational leader in Arne Duncan, the party focuses almost completely on our public school system, which is falling further behind our competitive world.

The story also reported on some progressive legislative ideas on home schooling, private schools, cooperative multi-school activities and protecting teachers from frivolous lawsuits. An educational consultant reminded attendees that our state needs more money to follow Florida's example. I also would add eliminating our "Corridor of Shame."

Can Republicans ever agree to increase taxes and will Democrats ever agree to more school choice and hiring more qualified teachers particularly in math and science to replace others?

When will our legislators, regardless of party, begin prioritizing the greatest total good for our children over their overly singular party beliefs?

Walt Schymik

Hilton Head Island