6/1 Readers write

Credit: pskinner@ajc.com

Credit: pskinner@ajc.com

Don’t ignore learning differences when teaching reading

Any attempt by the state to improve reading scores should consider that perhaps 20 percent of the population falls into the category of dyslexic. As far as phonics can address the problems of dyslexia, that’s good, but there should be a special effort to identify the condition in individual students so that specific remedial measures can be taken.

I have personal experience with this. I will spell the same word three different ways in the same paragraph, a telltale sign of dyslexia. I graduated with honors in electrical engineering in 1979 after a stint in the Air Force following high school, but I am certain I would not have been able to get through all the reading required of an English major.

If the state wants to improve reading scores, even if it’s only for the narrow reason of attracting businesses, it needs to acknowledge that there are differences among learners that can’t be ignored if the problem is to be dealt with effectively. And thank goodness for spell-checking software.


Cleaner air is not cheap, but payoff is worth it

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that total greenhouse gases in Georgia fell by 5% between 2017 and 2021, even though our economy grew by 10%. Carbon emissions from Georgia’s electric power plants declined by more than 15% as we shuttered coal plants and increased reliance on natural gas and solar. Utility scale solar is now scattered across rural Georgia in massive fields. Getting that energy back where it is needed requires inverters, substations, upgraded transmission lines and massive grid-tied battery systems.

Georgia is also diversifying our energy mix through nuclear generation to protect us from the market volatility of one fuel source. The capital construction costs may be the costliest generation yet, but the ongoing costs of this carbon-free energy source that will soon power 500,000 homes will be among the lowest available for 80 years or more. This clean energy transition is anything but cheap -- but it is worthwhile.