Cheers to Kansas for leading nation
Those who champion tougher drunken-driving laws in Kansas have much to celebrate this week.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported Kansas led the nation in reducing the number of alcohol-related fatalities in 2004.
In 2003, 166 people were killed on Kansas highways in alcohol-related wrecks. Last year, the number dropped by 29 percent to 118.
Sobriety checkpoints, extra law enforcement patrols and public service campaigns are the elements of Kansas' efforts to combat drunken driving. State officials, too, credit increased participation by local law enforcement agencies in stemming deadly drunken-driving accidents.
The state should be proud of the accomplishment, but 118 deaths involving drunken driving in a year is still 118 deaths too many.
Taxpayers wondering whether their hard-earned tax money is paying dividends in Lansing schools should look at the district's ACT scores for 2004-05.
Lansing High's composite score on the college assessment again has topped the state and national average. It was the same story for each of the subject areas tested - math, science, reading and English. Not only that, the Lansing score climbed to its highest point since 1997.
No matter how you look at it, Lansing schools, its teachers and its students taking the ACT are doing something right.