• Akron Beacon Journal, Aug. 5
On Wednesday, the president embraced a dramatic shift in legal immigration, endorsing legislation that seeks to reduce the annual level by half during the next decade, largely by narrowing the opportunity for American citizens and legal residents to bring family members into the country.
The president argues that reducing legal immigration from its current 1 million entering each year is necessary because low-skilled immigrants leave many lower-income Americans with fewer opportunities to find jobs.
That seems to make sense: Shrink the labor pool, and those remaining will do better.
Then, there’s what the country has learned from its actual experience with immigration. For instance, economists note that most of the European immigrants to this country during the previous century were low-skilled, and they helped deliver unprecedented prosperity.
Akron and other cities across the aging industrial belt have benefited from an influx of refugees and immigrants. Newly arrived Latinos famously revitalized a sagging Chicago.
The country’s experience teaches that immigration works in complex ways, the economy and quality of life advanced by higher-skilled and lower-skilled immigrants. If immigrants do take some jobs from American workers, they help to generate far more.
• The Canton Repository, Aug. 3
On Wednesday, acclaimed speaker/researcher/writer Sir Ken Robinson told an audience comprised mainly of Stark County school administrators, along with members of the local business community, that it is well past time to rethink the basic model for public education in Ohio and across the United States.
We couldn’t agree more.
“We have confused raising standards with ‘standardization’ and testing. It simply has not worked,” said Robinson, whose 40-year career has been devoted to teaching and educational research. Instead of rethinking the problem, he said, “We have doubled-down on a testing culture.”
It was fitting that his comments — part of a Stark County Educational Service Center and Stark Education Partnership program — came at First Christian Church in Plain Township because, for many in the room, he was preaching to the choir.
Ohio educators have been saying long and loud that the educational testing system and the state’s reliance on it needs to be revised, reformed and rethought.
We encourage the Ohio Department of Education, under the direction of state Superintendent Paolo DeMaria, to heed Robinson’s advice — “We must be creative, innovative, brave and courageous” — and take a lead in pushing back on an over-reliance on testing as the main measurement of success.
• The (Toledo) Blade, Aug. 7
The heartbreaking death of a 14-year-old Toledo boy is a harsh and cold wake-up call — in this community and beyond. Bullying is real, and its impact is quite literally deadly.
Luken Boyle, an incoming freshman at Central Catholic High School, died by suicide July 31.
“Words cannot express the pain and heartache brought on by one impulsive decision as a result of cyberbullying,” his obituary read.
As Lucas County Suicide Prevention Coalition Coordinator Jan Burgard-Moore said, there is no escape in the internet age. While a bully’s target used to be able to take refuge at home, cyberbullying now can reach a victim anywhere, all the time. It makes the bullying unrelenting. “It follows you everywhere.”
If the police investigation into Luken’s death reveals it was prompted by cyberbullying, the responsible bully, or bullies, must face criminal charges and be brought to justice.
And, beyond this case, our social norm must change drastically. Acceptance and enabling of bullies must end. Too often, bullying does not receive the harsh punishment it deserves. Too often, excuses are made: “These are just kids. Their own problems brought this on.”
We have heard enough of that tripe. Sweet, young, innocent kids like Luken are dying because parents, schools, and society have tolerated bullies.
• The Marietta Times, Aug. 7
When we first heard of the recent arrest of a Fleming couple who allegedly kept journals detailing sexual activity they considered with their infant son, our first reaction was disgust.
But our second reaction to the journals, found stashed away in a home they had moved out of, was “Can they really be arrested for that?”
As the investigation continues, authorities have said it’s unclear if they actually carried out any of these acts or harmed the child, now 16 months old. The charges are pandering obscenity of a minor for the father and child endangerment for both parents.
We agree with detectives and prosecutors that what was found was disgusting. And if the investigation determines they traumatized, injured or abused their son, they absolutely belong behind bars. Either way, the child should not be returned to them until it is absolutely certain he will be safe, if ever.
The hard truth about supporting our country’s right to free speech and expression is that you must support it for the speech and expression you abhor, not just what you agree with or feel you can live with. You have to take the bad — and the sometimes horrific — along with the good. It’s hard for most of us to understand someone ever writing these revolting things but it doesn’t mean the right to do so isn’t protected.