Some Youngstown city schools do better than Hope on proficiency tests
I'm writing in response to the letter written on June 30 comparing proficiency scores from Eagle Heights, Legacy, New Hope and Youngstown City School District.
The writer is comparing three schools with an entire district that consists of 13 schools taking the fourth grade tests and 12 schools taking the sixth grade tests.
Eagle Heights, Legacy and New Hope Academy have approximately 20 to 40 students at the fourth and sixth grade levels. Youngstown City School District has approximately 700 fourth graders and more than 650 sixth graders. Is the letter writer comparing apples to apples when he compares individual schools to an entire district?
In making school-to-school comparisons, Youngstown City School District had six of the 12 sixth grades scoring higher than New Hope Academy's 9 percent in math with one school scoring 82 percent in writing and one school scoring 100 percent.
Two of the 12 schools scored higher than New Hope's 45 percent in reading, with one school scoring 100 percent. Three of the 12 schools scored higher than New Hope's 55 percent in citizenship and two of the 12 schools scored higher than New Hope's 45 percent in science, with one scoring 100 percent.
Also excluded from this comparison is the fact that students from all three of the schools being compared to Youngstown City School District have been returned to Youngstown Schools when they were unable to be successful at those school.
So to the letter writer, when you are making comparisons in the future, please be fair and compare apples to apples.
MARY ANN SCHULAY
X The writer is the principal of Sheridan Elementary School in the Youngstown City School District.
Playwright disavows 'Idora!'s current version
In a lengthy article on the front of the entertainment section last Sunday, Robert Vargo, managing director of the Youngstown Playhouse, used the word "bizarre" to describe my demeanor while I was attempting to gain clarification during our alleged negotiation process.
"Idora!," the musical I wrote, is a warm and comical portrayal of the way we were, the way we dated and entertained ourselves at Idora Park during the fabulous '60s.
It is a fabulous tribute to Idora Park and is, I believe, destined for Broadway. My goal is to put Youngstown on the map through this colorful and universally appealing depiction of Idora Park.
It is a pity that the Youngstown Playhouse missed an opportunity to stage a first-class musical written by an award-winning playwright. "Idora!" would have brought laughter and tears of joy to audiences -- whether or not they remembered Idora Park.
I am certain that this musical will eventually be staged somewhere in the Youngstown area but, now, it seems more likely that the world premiere of "Idora!" will take place somewhere in Florida.
When I finally realized that all of my characters, all of my dialogue and half of my songs had been removed from my musical, I felt as though I was watching Idora Park burn to the ground once more. I had entered this project with such enthusiasm. For one full year of our lives, my husband and I labored over the musical.
By the time I started to fully comprehend what was being done to my script, while parading my name on a new script to which I did not wish to be connected, Vargo was describing my behavior as bizarre. According to professional theater industry standards and the Dramatists Guild, it is not acceptable to demolish a playwright's script and continue to use her name.
ANGELA V. WOODHULL
Austintown trustees taking the right tack
Kudos to the Austintown Township trustees -- Dave Ditzler, Bo Pritchard and Richard Edwards -- for placing the ban on ownership of exotic animals up for a vote. It's about time! And good for them for instituting home rule. Austintown needs it. I hope when the ban on exotic animals is up for a final vote that it passes unanimously.
People who keep such things as boa constrictors and caimans as pets are a shade short of common sense. Why do they have them in the first place? To show off to their friends, relatives and neighbors? I can think of no other reason. If they want a pet, chose a dog, cat or a canary.
Such creatures as boas, caimans and alligators did not evolve (yes, evolve!) to crawl around someone's living room or backyard. Boas belong in the jungles of Southeast Asia where they can slither along and when they feel hungry they can grasp tapirs, wild pigs, rodents and small antelope in their coils and crush them to death for a meal. Caimans stealthily swim through the rivers of South America, gnashing at birds and antelope, pulling them under to rip into their flesh, churning violently to tear off one piece after the other including feathers, feet and beaks and horns and hoofs until the victim is completely devoured. Then they seek out another victim.
Boas and caimans don't watch DVD movies or try to answer the questions on "Jeopardy;" they don't smack high fives with their "masters" when the Browns or Ohio State scores another touchdown.
Several times over the years, The Vindicator has printed stories of young children crushed by boas which escaped from cages in the living room. If daddy didn't buy the boa, the child would be alive today.
Then there was the woman in Campbell whose two -- not one but two -- boas escaped and were later found slithering around the neighborhood. She referred to them as her "babies." Come on now.
Then there was the woman in Colorado last year who was petting her tiger under its chin when it suddenly bit of her arm below the elbow and swallowed it whole. She had to be fitted with a prosthesis.
The law should go a step further. People caught with these exotic creatures and those who import and sell them should be made to pay the airfare to ship the animals back to their indigenous habitats.
Sometimes when exotic creatures become too much to handle, their "masters" just turn them loose in the woods to fend for themselves. So what do boas and caimans do when winter comes. Who cares? They're forced to freeze to death.
Perhaps those who enjoy watching their friends cringe when they show them these creatures should show them their latest MRI so they can cringe when they see how the part of the brain which houses common sense has atrophied.
Again, praises to the Austintown trustees for showing some spine.
County workers should improve their attitude
In hearing and reading different things concerning why the Mahoning County sales tax is opposed, I have yet to see one thing mentioned.
I believe the attitude and treatment from many county workers in person and on the phone is one reason many are opposed to the tax.
Why should people be willing to pay a sales tax when many county workers show disrespect when dealing with the public? Treat others as you would like to be treated.