As an ambitious college student and an immigrant, I was disappointed to hear President Barack Obama's recent comments about business owners not building their businesses themselves.

Obama's comments discouraging to entrepreneurs, business owners

To the editor:

As an ambitious college student and an immigrant, I was disappointed to hear President Barack Obama's recent comments about business owners not building their businesses themselves.

It immediately brought to my mind the Dan Pink study. The study basically shows that autonomy, mastery and purpose -- not money -- are the actual incentives behind creative, mind-involving work.

What Obama said steals the feeling of autonomy by telling entrepreneurs that they're not independent in their efforts; his words are an attempt to poison the sense of satisfaction earned by mastering a trade and the thrill that comes from new innovations.

He attempts to redirect the purpose of a company from the dreams and passion of the owner and its employees to a sense of indebtedness and obligation, that whatever the entrepreneur has earned actually belongs to someone else.

Not only did he take the money from the pockets of American workers and businessmen for his vacations and economic plans, Obama tried to rob workers and businessmen from the psychological motivations to work and create wealth.

Ohio's Treasurer, Josh Mandel -- running for U.S. Senate -- has a record of standing up to bureaucrats who treat businesses and their owners as if they're "guilty until proven innocent."

I can't vote until I become a citizen, but you can. So please use your right to vote to help Mandel stand up to Obama's unjustified attacks on the people who are just trying to live the American Dream.

Zena Aziz


Superintendent on right track, but needs support from union

To the editor:

Our superintendent, April Domine, is leading an effort to benchmark innovation in teaching and learning methods and has started some pilot projects using mostly grant money.

The New Albany-Plain Local Schools need a new pedagogical model that focuses on the individual student's success and integrates technology into that process in real time. Results from some schools using these methods are stunning in student achievement and in substantially reducing the cost of instruction.

She is using some guidance from Tony Wagner, an expert in this area who visited the district recently, to focus education efforts on helping students build skills in seven areas: problem solving and critical thinking; collaboration across networks; adaptability; initiative; effective oral and written communication; analyzing information; and developing curiosity and imagination. These are the skills children need to succeed as good citizens, in college and in their careers. I endorse this concept and look forward to seeing the specifics of the efforts.

Despite New Albany's 2010-11 state report card ranking of "Excellent," 34 percent of our district graduates that entered college in 2009 needed to take remedial math or English courses, according to the Ohio Board of Regents' August 2011 report.

Under the state's new school ranking system to be implemented next year using more realistic academic standards, New Albany would be rated "B" on the A to F scale. Make no mistake, education in New Albany is above average but there is great room for improvement.

It would be great to know if our teachers union wholeheartedly endorses this approach, even officially taking a vote.

It would be even more impressive if the union voted to forgo its current annual 4-plus-percent salary/step increases and use the savings to fund this effort instead of further burdening taxpayers.

Many other districts' unions have taken zero increases to help taxpayers during these difficult economic times. After all, our district's teachers are among central Ohio's highest paid.

Bob Radigan

New Albany