Fighting over charter schools is one of the issues of our times, but helping the youth and adults in Brentwood who do not even have a high school equivalency degree deserves more attention [“Charter forum flap,” News, Nov. 28].

Just look at the high school graduation rates. The battle over charter schools won’t help adults without diplomas or GEDs, and they are the parents of these children. Even universal prekindergarten will not help change the economic status of the family for a dozen years.

The lack of leadership in this community has driven people to propose charter schools as a solution. Assemb. Phil Ramos (D-Brentwood) and others could have done much more.

When Congress under President George W. Bush cut out educational funds for adults, those cuts greatly affected Brentwood. The GED testing center at the high school was closed during those years, and this created a hardship for the residents. This community has been let down.

Martin Danenberg

Islandia

Editor’s note: The writer teaches GED prep classes.

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World’s nations lack will to destroy ISIS

The letter “Strife isn’t always America’s fault” [Nov. 26], which argued that the creation of the Islamic State isn’t our fault, ignored that had we not disbanded the Iraqi army, there would be no ISIS. Any excuses ISIS may make for its attacks are irrelevant.

We created this monster, and another indisputable fact is that bombing alone will not work. History has taught us that. Neither we nor any other country has the will to do what is necessary to destroy ISIS. According to some U.S. military experts, it would take an army of several hundred thousand a minimum of 10 years to do so.

History also teaches that if we don’t learn from our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them. See Syria and our current misguided attempt to depose Bashar Assad.

James Clark

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