From: Donna M. Hall
This is in response to Mrs. (Nancy) Burg's letter concerning the cheerleading competition on Sept. 29 ("Rebels owed apology," Oct. 9).
She forgot to mention that the 95-lb. East Glen Burnie Warriors squad also had a false accusation made against them. My daughter cheers on this squad, and one of the coaches on the other teams said they did an illegal move.
They were granted the chance to perform in front of the judges again and there was no illegal move in their routine.
When the awards were given out, they did not even place becauseof this conflict. So the Rebels are not the only ones owed an apology.
Our Warrior girls were very hurt by the false accusations, and that an adult would do it because of any reason is wrong. These events are for the girls, not the coaches on an ego trip.
If we want our girls to learn good sportsmanship, the adults have to learn it first.
YOUNG DEMOCRATS ALIVE
From: David K. Guite
Treasurer, Anne Arundel
County Young Democrats
The Anne Arundel County Young Democrats remain alive and well. Since the May 12, 1991, Anne Arundel County Sun article, "Youths take on the GOP," our membership has increased threefold. We Young Democrats remain active with monthly meetingsand our very own monthly newsletter.
In fact, on Oct. 4, the Young Democrats successfully held a second fund-raiser. Approximately 150young individuals joined together not only to enjoy the band, JesterDare, but also to celebrate being young and Democrats.
We thank Roland Terrace Democratic Club, Lauer's Superthrift, Attorney Richard Bittner, Classic Buff and Shine, and the many "Senior" Young Democrats whose advice and financial contributions have ensured our continuedgrowth.
The Young Democrats have awarded Delegate Charles "Stokes" Kolodziejski and Delegate Joan Cadden lifetime memberships for their ever-vigilant presence at our recent fund-raiser. That is, despite the musical incompatibility, these two survived the entire evening!
MATH TEACHING SUFFERS
From: Kathryn S. Catlin
I am appalled at what politics
and fear of the MSPP (Maryland School Performance Program) have done to mathematics education in Anne Arundel County.
At the open house at my children's school, I learned that teachers are being directed (or is that "ordered?") to spend only a certain number of days on each mathematical topic, and then push on to the next, whether any of the children have mastered the material or not.
What happened to "school-based management" that we heard about recently? What has happened to each teacher's professional judgment? When I was in the teaching profession, I was constantly reminded thata good teacher teaches children -- not just the subject matter. Has that changed?
How can a child understand percents if she has nevermastered the idea of decimals? How can she work with decimals if theconcept of fractions was never clear to her? Mathematics is a beautifully logical system that must be mastered in a orderly fashion. A person cannot expect to learn calculus unless he understands algebra, and he can't understand algebra unless he understands basic arithmetic.
I am afraid that the county's "fear of failure" of the MSPP is going to mean confusion and failure for many of our most vulnerable children -- those who have heard otherwise responsible adults complain that "they never understood math, either." Pushing young minds with an artificial schedule of topics is not going to give them a good attitude toward mathematics.
Federal officials complain that our children are not learning math and science in schools. This new policy of the same timetable for all children can only make this problem worse.
Let the teachers use their training and professional judgment to treat our children as individuals, not as learning receptacles that have topics thrown at them, hit or miss.
It is truly an outrage!
Editor's note: The above letter is addressed to Mr. C. Barry Carter,Action Superintendent, Anne Arundel County Schools.