Business RoleEditor: Businesses have been justifiably...


December 07, 1990

Business Role

Editor: Businesses have been justifiably complaining about the deterioration of the education system. They argue that the quality of the young people entering the work force is so far below par that additional corporate-paid remedial training is often required before the new employee can perform properly.

Here in Maryland their cries for improvements in the system have been heard. But it seems that one important issue is being overlooked.

The most important element in any child's education is parental involvement. Children need that reinforcement to understand the cruciality of obtaining a good education.

One way the business world might help to improve the education system would be to consider allocating employees time off for educational visitation. Certainly that would cost companies money. But it is surely another one of those ''pay me now or pay me later'' situations.

Walt Wankowski.


Don't Report It

Editor: Your twin Nov. 25 articles on the early stirrings of an anti-war movement in this country are striking examples of sloppy journalism unworthy of a newspaper of The Sun's stature. They and their prominent display are in fact little more than propaganda for such a movement.

You report widespread apprehension among young men of being drafted. Of course, there is no draft law currently in effect. It seems very unlikely that the Congress would pass such a law even if requested, which also is unlikely.

In fact, the long-range plan of Congress is to reduce the personnel in the armed forces. So it would seem that our youth have no reason to worry about this possibility. A well-balanced news article should certainly have included these facts.

Most of the people interviewed expressed concern over a repeat of our Vietnam experience. This is unlikely in the extreme because the facts are so different.

The Vietnam war was long and drawn-out for several reasons, among them the fact that the Vietcong were supplied and supported by North Vietnam, China and Russia.

A second vital difference is the topography.

The terrain of Vietnam is mostly thick jungle and mountains, ideal for guerrilla tactics, baffling for conventional war. In Arabia the open, flat desert offers no cover and makes air superiority, which we possess, dominant. All this makes it likely that any war there would be quickly decided, and would have to be fought with the troops we have available. A balanced news report might be expected to mention these facts.

Be assured that your articles will be noted and welcomed in Baghdad, were Hussein may well interpret them to mean he need not fear American action. This would surely increase the likelihood of war.

J. P. W. Vest.


Drug Policy in Maryland

Editor: Your Nov. 29 editorial, ''Ex-Czar for RNC,'' shows great sensitivity to the myriad complex issues affected by our country's substance abuse problem.

Maryland's drug control plan calls for a truly comprehensive approach in our effort to reduce the scourge of drugs and its immediate impact upon our correctional system, the delivery of social services and our educational system.

We share your views regarding the need for effective direction provided by the National Office of Drug Control Policy. Maryland's forthcoming second drug control plan (December, '90) features a set of recommendations directed to the Office of National Drug Control which call for greater attention to a variety of drug-related concerns including those associated with drug affected babies.

It is worth noting that over $23 million of new funds have been allocated to implement the first-year recommendations of Maryland's plan, of which $9 million goes to new and expanded treatment services.

Nearly $1 million is targeted for a unique, new outpatient and residential program for pregnant addicts and their unborn children in the Baltimore area. This program provides specialized medical, obstetric, psychological, family planning and child care services.

It is not by accident that the December control plan does not feature the all-too-often-used ''war on drugs'' analogy. This analogy creates the impression that, like a war, our approach to reducing substance abuse is a limited engagement activity.

Maryland's strategy calls for a comprehensive, four-pronged approach, that focuses on treatment, prevention, education and law enforcement initiatives. It is one which fosters involvement from state and local governments working in concert with community groups and the private sector.

Perhaps our most challenging task is that of changing attitudes regarding the acceptability of substance abuse. Gov. William Donald Schaefer's Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission is working locally and regionally with children, youth, families and businesses to elevate awareness levels, to design effective prevention programs and to encourage the public's involvement at many levels.

It is through these efforts that we have learned that our task cannot be accomplished through a limited engagement effort.

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