Involve teachers and parents more
The Feb. 25th edition of The Evening Sun reported on the high-level discussions of new approaches for troubled middle-schoolers. On the same date, the editorial "U.S. students do badly -- again" suggested that "different methods may work with different kids." One problem is that, like many large systems, the Baltimore City Public Schools have just one approach.
Other cities have found a way to offer a variety of educational approaches and involve parents more closely in their child's education. Teachers and parents are able to establish and run their own small schools based on common cultural, philosophical or community needs. Successful models are flourishing in several urban systems, including New York City, Milwaukee and Philadelphia.
There are many teachers and parents in Baltimore ready for the freedom and responsibility associated with creating alternative educational environments. It's time to consider bottom-up school reform!
Bush knows politics
Mike Royko writes (Evening Sun, March 3) that "Pat Buchanan is a much better hater than David Duke." George Bush has said, "I will do whatever it takes to get elected."
Could it be that George, a closet liberal, has sent Pat out to take away David Duke's influence with Southern voters? After Buchanan is defeated in the primaries and has silenced Duke, he can throw his Southern votes to George. "Whatever it takes to get elected" has been done.
George may be a non-leader and a poor administrator, but he knows politics and the people.
Charles Johnston Pasadena
West Virginia church replies
Editor: My husband is the pastor of the church's student group in West Virginia that Cathy Beaver referred to throughout the Feb. 21 article, ''Cult Corner.'' The article was quite a shock to me, as Cathy never approached any of our leaders with the concerns that she raised in her talk.
I believe the article's characterization of our group is very inaccurate and much of the information presented is false.
We are not aware that any of our members coerced Cathy to attend meetings or participate in activities. Cathy was invited to meetings at times, just as one would invite a friend to a movie or to go out for pizza.
The church leaders had minimal individual contact with Cathy. They never kept her up late at night or argued with her in any way. Nor did they criticize her or call her names. In fact, this would be very contrary to the nature of our group, as we emphasize being patient, loving and kind.
She did ask my opinion about baptism and I told her about my own baptism. Cathy seemed confused about baptism, because she had talked to different people who had many different ideas about baptism. I encouraged her, as I did at other times, not to listen to me or to all of these other people, but rather to read the Bible and form her own convictions. The church never insisted that she be baptized.
I am not aware that our church has ever had a ''fixation on a Bible passage that said woman shouldn't speak in church."
I've tried to figure out what caused Cathy to respond the way she did in this article. I am aware that Cathy talked with two students who attend our student group about women's roles. It is possible that she took the opinions shared by these students to be those of the church.
We do quote scriptures in our church. We do believe the Bible is God's word. We do believe that a person becomes a Christian based on faith alone in Jesus Christ. We do baptize people. We do encourage people to read the Bible.
I feel no malice toward Cathy, but I am concerned that people will have a false and inaccurate view of our church and other churches associated with us based on this article.
Not in the paper
I didn't have a chance to watch the Democratic candidate's debate March 1. I thought, I don't have to worry about that, I can read about it in the paper.
Well, one day before the primary election, your paper had a big picture of the debate, two columns about Clinton's visit to Little Italy, and three columns about Jackson who is not even running.
The only mention in your paper about the debate was ''the 90-minute exchange . . . the only opportunity for voters to see the candidates together.'' Very true, we certainly didn't get any useful information next day in the paper.
I don't have time to watch TV. I'd like my paper to inform me about important current events. The Evening Sun let me down.
Was I hallucinating last year when I saw students rallying in Annapolis and protesting the budget cuts in the University of Maryland System?
Did I imagine those eager scholars and the dedicated faculty going out on a limb to remind Marylanders of the importance of higher education?
This from the crowd that wants to close down their university for a baseball game?
If UMAB's own administration cannot conceive of education taking precedence over sports, why should Maryland lawmakers be expected to?