There’s one way to get rid of the undesirable, or should I say Congress employees that are only in it for the money: Introduce a bill that reduces their income to $50,000 a year. 

Fair pay

There’s one way to get rid of the undesirable, or should I say Congress employees that are only in it for the money: Introduce a bill that reduces their income to $50,000 a year. This amount is still above the level of poverty and, I might add, a sum many in America would be thrilled to receive.

This would help deter our politicians from not voting because of an upcoming election or the fear they will insult their base.

I mean, $50,000 in a politician’s world is chump change.

But for the righteous politician whose concern is about making life better for the middle class, I think they would gladly take the job.

If we can get enough people in Congress who want to raise the minimum wage, vote for a jobs bill, reduce interest rates on student loans and pass immigration reform ... we could create one of the greatest nations on this planet.

— Joe Wright Oklahoma City

Engine fix

My daughter got an F once.

I didn’t tell her there was really no such thing as an F. At the time, I didn’t blame the F on my low income. I didn’t claim it was an ill-conceived state law that improperly defined an F. I didn’t opt her out of testing so she couldn’t receive an F.

Instead, I called her teacher and asked why she received an F. I then sat down with my daughter and formed a plan. (I also took her phone and her car keys.) Soon, the grade improved; she was given back her keys and her phone — all was forgiven.

I worried about how that F would look on her high school transcript when she applied for college.

I worried about her not learning what she was supposed to learn in that class. What if she needed that knowledge in college or on a future job or just for life?

My daughter has integrity and respect. Her teacher had a passion for teaching. She still had an F.

There were any number of reasons for the F: work not turned in, substandard work, the material was too challenging. The point is, I found out the reason for the F and worked with my daughter to get it fixed.

The same thing should happen with schools that receive an F on the state’s A-F report card system.

Students in poverty, minority students or those who have a primary language other than English deserve to be prepared for life beyond high school.

If a school filled with poor, non-English-speaking students scores an F, then we have to find a different way to teach those students. There are schools with the same demographics that also earned A’s. Duplicate the strategies from those schools.

If a school received an F on its report card, it isn’t just a few students having a bad test day; this is endemic of system failure. It could be due to bad curriculum, bad administration, ill-prepared teachers, low parental involvement, anything.

The F is a check-engine light. You check the engine to see what the problem is, and you fix it.

— Tricia Pemberton, former assistant communications director for the Oklahoma State Department of Education Bethany

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