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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Letter to the Editor
Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Regarding The Associated Press news story “ American students' skills lag on international test ”: That Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called American students' lagging test results on the Program for International Student Assessment “a picture of educational stagnation” reflects the disappointment and concern of many people. With ongoing endeavors, from teacher in-service education to applications of instructional technology, hopes remain that our students' achievement gains will materialize.

However, for Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, to say that “(i)n the United States, we don't have the commitment for all kids and it needs to change” is an insult to members of the NEA who work with energy, determination and, yes, commitment to help “all kids” learn and achieve. Exactly who is the “we” that he chastises for lack of commitment to the vision for increased student success? Students' parents? Teachers? Taxpayers? School administrators? Corporate mentors? Legislators? President Obama?

Van Roekel's opinion is yet another “good excuse” for the lack of achievement. Rather than disparage the many Americans who value, support and are committed to students and their educational achievement, he needs to reaffirm his own commitment to all kids' achievement and demonstrate the leadership required to attain that commitment.

Linda M. Romito

Adams Township

Butler County

The writer is a retired principal of North Allegheny School District's Peebles Elementary School.

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