December 14, 2018
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Friday, Jan. 19, 2018: Men who fear losing power, Collins stood up for caregivers, judging academic success

Men who fear losing power

A quote read during Advent haunts me still: “[E]gotistical, insecure petty potentate in bed with the Romans and clueless about God.” Substitute “Russians” for “Romans” and you might think these words are describing the current occupant of the Oval Office.

The quote actually refers to King Herod who reigned over Jerusalem when Jesus was born. Herod was so upset when he heard that a “King of the Jews” had been born that he ordered the slaughter of all male babies.

The fears of men who may lose their power have not changed much since that first Christmas.

Kathy W. Walker

Hampden

Judging academic success

I am writing in response to the BDN’s series of articles, Your School. The series has been well done, and as an educator, I appreciate the media highlighting educational issues. Our whole society should be well informed of what is happening in Maine schools.

But in the article, “ See how well your high school does sending poorer kids to college,” the data was based on students who graduated from high school in 2009 and 2010, and the focus of the article is six-year college completion rates rather than helping students matriculate to postsecondary school.

The high school experience is certainly a factor in a student’s completing college, but there are numerous other factors that apply. These could include student adaptation to campus life, quality of social experiences, external life factors and the ever-rising cost of postsecondary education.

Using data based on students who graduated high school years ago makes it difficult for schools to report the status of their programs to their communities. I worry that constituents will read the data and then use it to evaluate their schools.

Many high schools have programs and supports to make postsecondary education accessible for students. For example, from 2014-2017, an average of 63 percent of Boothbay Region High School’s graduates have enrolled in college, and in that range, approximately 70 percent of graduates who qualified for free or reduced lunch were accepted to a postsecondary institution.

Thank you for making education a focal point, but I think other data can help us all paint a more accurate picture.

Daniel Welch

Principal

Boothbay Region High School

Boothbay Harbor

Collins stood up for caregivers

On behalf of the 178,000 unpaid family caregivers who reside in our state, AARP Maine applauds Sen. Susan Collins for her leadership in sponsoring the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act. AARP was pleased to endorse this important legislation, and we thank Collins for her efforts to work on a bipartisan basis to support family caregivers.

Millions of Americans provide care for parents, spouses, children and adults with disabilities and other loved ones to help them live independently in their homes and communities. The RAISE Act, which now awaits the president’s signature, requires the development of a national strategy to support family caregivers. The bill creates an advisory body to bring together relevant federal agencies and others from the private and public sectors to advise and make recommendations. The strategy will identify specific actions that government, communities, providers, employers and others can take to recognize and support family caregivers.

Family caregivers take on a range of tasks, including managing medications, helping with bathing and dressing, preparing and feeding meals, arranging transportation, and handling financial and legal matters. The unpaid care that family caregivers provide in Maine is valued at $2.1 billion annually.

By supporting family caregivers, we can help older adults stay at home where they want to be. Delaying or preventing more costly nursing home care and unnecessary hospitalizations saves taxpayer dollars. The RAISE Act is an important step in the right direction, and AARP appreciates Collins’ commitment to family caregivers and their loved ones.

Lori Parham

State director

AARP Maine

Portland

 


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