Let's get on with school restructuringThe Greater...

the Forum

November 01, 1990

Let's get on with school restructuring

The Greater Baltimore Committee has been following with keen interest the development of the proposal for implementing school-based decision-making and management in 20 city schools in the next academic year.

The GBC has long advocated giving increased authority ` and responsibility ` to those closest to the children at the school level. As early as 1983, the GBC promoted the concept of school-site budgeting for Baltimore schools.

We believe many of the concerns raised by groups and individuals in testimony before the board are legitimate and cannot be ignored. At the same time, to allow further delays while the plan is being refined is unacceptable.

Rather, the GBC believes the proposal should be viewed as a skeletal framework for school-based management. Those schools competing to be one of the 20 demonstration sites should be encouraged to be flexible in developing their proposals and not necessarily be limited to the models suggested in the restructuring plan.

If Baltimore city really is committed to the concept of school-based decision making, then we should trust that the people in the schools themselves will work out the kinks that critics have identified with the proposed plan.

The GBC applauds the decision by the Board of School Commissioners to move ahead now with the restructuring initiative while building into the proposal appropriate flexibility that will address the most pressing of the concerns which have been raised about the plan.

Arnold J. Kleiner

The writer is chairman of the GBC Education Committee. 7

With a will, a way

Today a nightmare concluded for me. It began innocently enough when my elderly, widowed aunt was placed in a nursing home. The social worker who recommended her placement represented the apartment building where my aunt lived. Because she was causing some problems for the management, my aunt had to be moved.

This aunt had financial resources ` savings bonds, safe deposit boxes, etc., in several banks. No one was sure what she had or where it was. When my aunt refused to pay the fees charged by the nursing home, a legal guardian was appointed by the court system. The legal guardian (a lawyer) wrote me a letter, enlisting my help. I provided him with a list of my aunt's living relatives, including my mother and several distant cousins. When my aunt died shortly after Christmas, the nursing home notified me. I called the lawyer and was told that, as her relative, I had to arrange the burial. I had already turned over to this lawyer all the assets that my aunt had entrusted to my care ` cash, two safety deposit keys, dividend checks, etc. I carried out the lawyer's instructions.

Now, at last, the estate has been settled. In addition to my mother, every cousin received a share of the estate. The legal guardian also received a sizable fee. But I wasn't mentioned. I was, however, given a list of the names and addresses of all those distant cousins.

The point of this letter: Advise elderly relatives to have a will prepared and urge them to name a responsible person to work with and for them. Never allow an elderly loved one to get lost in the system that must recognize legal authority and overlook the contributions of caring relatives. Those relatives become faceless people who aren't looking for a reward. They may find themselves with a list of distant relatives whom they don't know and don't really care to contact.

Joan F. Myers

Baltimore

Lost childhood

Mary Maushard's Oct. 9 article, "When children are the victims of burnout," is without a doubt one of the most informative and accurate articles on this subject I have ever read. Unrealistic expectations are the main culprit, projected on the child by the child himself, parents, teachers, peers and the media.

In today's society the moment a child is born the parents and grandparents get so caught up in mapping out his life they forget to let him enjoy childhood. Mom and Dad are convinced their child is brighter then any other child, so they immediately start evaluating preschools, determined that only the best will do. They lose sight of the fact that letting a child enjoy these early years is important. Too often parents forget to show their children an appreciation of the simpler things in life such as walking barefoot in the grass, watching clouds in the blue sky and the warm sun reflecting off your face.

Studies have shown that adults, as a whole, are suffering from over-achieving, thereby causing burnout. Furthermore, we are passing this example down to our children. A child needs to know that his parents love him unconditionally, not for what he can do. If we are going to teach our children anything let it be the value and appreciation of human life.

Joyce D. Lindner

Glen Burnie

Artscape as hostage

During a radio commercial for Governor Schaefer, a woman's voice says, "Governor Schaefer has a real commitment to whatever he does."

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