Editor: The Nov. 16 article regarding the retirement of principal Boyse F. Mosley stimulated me to think that if there is anything positive we can learn from his lack of success, it is that traditional autocratic methods of teaching and leading do not work in the 1990s.
Blaming others, a typical autocratic response, for his inability to lead or educate solves absolutely nothing and once again proves that dogmatic leadership is dysfunctional.
While blaming others for his failure, Mr. Mosley hit the nail on the head when stating he spends most of his time maintaining order rather then education.
If our leaders spent more time trying to maintain equilibrium (flexibility, consistency, equality, positive and negative consequences for behaviors that are relevant and humane and based in reason) rather then ''order'' (rigidity, control, authority rule, based in fear) maybe they would be more effective.
Often our leaders forget or do not realize that they cannot control others, but only influence them. For when people sit down to take a test it is their minds that must answer the questions. And their previous experiences will influence their abilities and their responses.
There are a few leaders who appear to be making this transition from autocrat to democrat successfully. These contemporary leaders have not given up their power but have chosen to share the decision-making and talk legitimately to those with less direct power, which has resulted in more support and involvement in their environments.
If our city school system is not only to survive but eventually thrive -- which it must do if the city is to survive -- we must begin this structured transition toward contemporary leadership and education now. It is in our schools and in our families (with school support when necessary) where we must begin.
Editor: The state's recent report card on schools will undoubtedly cause another uproar in Maryland. Hopefully, the issues won't become obscured in the fog of finger-pointing.
These report cards clearly beg for work to be done on many fronts, by every player in the game, as part of a holistic strategy. Any strategy worth its salt should include an expansion of adult literacy programs.
One in six Marylanders (400,000 to 500,000 adults) are estimated to be functionally illiterate; almost half of them are in Baltimore City, and many of them are parents.
The recent national report, ''Teach the Mother, Reach the Child,'' states that, ''A mother's education is the greatest predictor of her children's success in school. . . if a mother's basic skills are enhanced, it has been shown that her children have a greater chance to improve their education skills as well.''
Sixty-five percent of the children of mothers participating in adult education and training programs in this national study demonstrated educational improvements as a result of their mothers' participation.
Furthermore, parents enrolled in Adult Basic Education classes are far more likely to read more often to their children, help with homework, take their children to the library, talk more often with their children and their children's teachers about school, and participate in school activities.
Not enough support has been given to adult education programs. Most literacy programs in Baltimore City and many throughout the state are struggling to stay afloat in an economic climate which demands a more educated work force.
Yet if report cards are to improve in the coming years, we cannot neglect the parents of our children. Adult literacy helps reverse the vicious intergenerational cycle of illiteracy and allows our precious tax dollars to do double duty.
The writer coordinates LIFT, an adult literacy program sponsored by the Southeast Community Organization.
Editor: Gosh! Bankers do have hearts after all.
They sledge-lobbied Congress to keep credit card interest unlimited so that high risk borrowers can enjoy Santa Claus.
=1 I can't wait until the Tooth Fairy finds out.
Quentin D. Davis.
Editor: George Bush is a president who never wants to take responsibility for any domestic problems. He only wants to take credit for his foreign policies.
First he stalled on extending unemployment compensation. Then tries to say we are not in a recession. Then when the stock market goes down, he says he is not worried.
What kind of president is not worried about these problems but is worried about handing out more foreign aid to other countries when our cities are dying?
It is unbelievable what kind of a domestic-neglecting president George Bush really is.
Patrick W. Feuerhardt.
Editor: J.D. Considine's contention Nov. 10, that the national trend away from rock toward country music is imaginary, was certainly original. Too bad it's wrong.
There is no question that country record sales were under-reported prior to the SoundScan technology. There is also no doubt that record sales in this format have grown to the point where rock-oriented labels are now opening Nashville offices and hiring country music veterans to develop their rosters.
The capital investment taking place in country music is being made by men and women who read financial statements, not just Billboard charts.
The second part of his argument -- that many of the fresh new country acts aren't really country at all -- is even more ludicrous. These acts have been exposed almost exclusively through country radio and country video channels. Does he really think that people don't realize that Garth Brooks is a country singer? Wouldn't the cowboy hat have been a clue?
Mr. Considine and his rock and roll cronies are whistling in the dark.
Howard M. Halpren.