DEBATE OVER GAYS IS SILLY
From: David F. Ludwig
Howard County's community pride in tolerance, diversity and education makes the ongoing debate over gay speakers in the high schools seem incredibly silly.
After all, sexual preference is not a political party to which one can be recruited, it is not a disease that canbe contracted by contact, and it is not a team that one joins or quits at will. Sexual preference results from the complex and long-term interplay of developmental and internal processes.
Nobody's sexualpreference can be altered by homosexual speakers in the schools. However, attitudes can be altered so that people may be more comfortablewith themselves (if they are gay) or with others (if they are not).
These modestly positive results can only enhance our community spirit, while intolerance and ignorance can only degrade it.
From: John Longden
During the week of Oct. 28 to Nov. 3, Domino's Pizza conducted a fund-raiser called the "Domino's Pizza Dough-Raising Program" in which several Howard County schools participated. The program was established as a method of returning something to the communities we serve. It is our thanks for your support.
The schools distributed letters describing the program tothe community. Customers who returned this letter with their pizza order between Oct. 28 and Nov. 3 received $1 off their order, and $1 was earmarked for contribution to the school from which the customer received the letter.
There was, however, miscommunication concerning the content of the letters.
We have since learned that several PTA members and school officials were displeased with the wording of the letters, believing them to be too aggressive in requesting supportfor the schools.
We sincerely apologize for any wording that may have been misleading and for any confusion or problems our dough-raising program may have caused. It was not our intention for such a situation to occur. We have taken steps to correct our mistake and to ensure that it will not happen again.
At Domino's Pizza, our goal is to delight the customer. We have proudly served the people of Howard County for over five years and hope to continue to provide you with the highest quality product and service anywhere. If there are ever any questions or problems you have concerning Domino's Pizza, please feel free to contact me at my office at (301) 859-3030.
(John Longden is the regional vice president of Domino's Pizza.)
GPA POLICY HURTSCOUNTIANS
From: Rachel Kulansky
As a junior at Centennial High, I am beginning the college preparation process where everything we have worked toward for 12 or more years finally paysoff. Or does it?
It is a time when club participation can be dependent upon how good it looks on our transcripts, and every grade in every course is crucial. As students, we are often criticized for thisbehavior. Did anyone ever consider that there is reasoning behind this madness?
From the time we are freshmen in high school, we are encouraged to be the "well-rounded model student." We are advised to become involved in as many activities as we can balance. In addition, we are told to take advanced courses and to challenge ourselves because a "B" in the advanced class is better than an "A" in the average class.
Supposedly, it is in our favor to do this in the eyes of thecolleges when we apply. This may be true in other local school systems, such as Prince George's County, where students' grades are weighted, meaning that it is possible to earn more than a 4.0 GPA (grade-point average) for taking such courses. This, in turn, influences theirrank.
In Howard County, all courses carry the same weight, meaning that a student taking average courses with an "A" average will havea higher GPA and, therefore, higher class rank than a student in alladvanced courses who has a "B" average.
About a month and a half ago, a meeting on the selective college application process was held for the entire county at Centennial High School. The speaker, David Ogden, who was from the Admissions Office at Princeton University, wasasked about Princeton's policy regarding weighted grades. His response was that the university recalculates all of the GPAs so that applicants are judged using the same scale.
However, adjusting our GPA does not mean adjusting our class rank. This can be an important partof the admissions process, especially when applying to competitive schools where the majority of those admitted are in the top 10 percentof their high school class.
Unfortunately, in the end, grades, test scores, class rank and course selection are usually the most important factors for competitive colleges. Being involved in a few activities definitely helps, but they oftentimes separate those with comparable academic achievements from one another.
How then, if we're not comparable on paper to begin with because of our unweighted grades,can activities possibly compensate for this? They can't.