Regarding the article about the Carbon County Commissioners' debate held Monday, Oct. 17, at Jim Thorpe's Memorial Hall, among all the facts and allegations presented that evening, there was one stark statistic that stood out. Carbon County has an 11 unemployment rate the third worst in Pennsylvania.
The Commissioner candidate's solution for this lack of employment opportunity split along the usual party lines. Republican for free enterprise. Democrats for government. Each side wants more of their favorite medicine to cure this illness.
However, not one of the candidates addressed the only remedy for the disease of unemployment and underemployment Education.
Carbon County will neither be rescued by Big Business nor Big Government. We can, however, be rescued by ourselves in a lift-by-our-bootstraps effort to value education countywide.
The latest ranking of Pennsylvania's school districts by the 2011 PSSA scores diagnoses our plight. Of the five districts, three ranked in the bottom half of the state. Of Pennsylvania's 500 districts, only Weatherly ranked close to the top quarter (26th percentile). More online statistics from the Pennsylvania Department of Education shows the lowest achievement areas for Carbon County's students are Math and Science exactly those areas of knowledge required for today's good jobs.
Unless and until our school districts reach higher levels of achievement employers will shun our beautiful county. Come on, Carbon County. We can do it! Let's lift ourselves into the sunlit uplands of the future through learning.
I support public education and call for higher standards for the sake of Carbon County and our children.