Praise welcome for teachers
I am writing to thank you for your editorial, "An 'A' for effort," which praised the faculties of Rodgers Forge Elementary School and Sandalwood Elementary School for innovative and caring methods of grading and nurturing children. In this era of teacher bashing, this was a most welcome exercise of praise for very deserving people. We hope this is the first in a series of editorials recognizing the dedication and effectiveness of teachers.
Despite the dismal fiscal climate, teachers continue to be imaginative, dedicated and energetic in providing quality instruction for children. The March 17 "sick-out" by a small group of teachers in the Baltimore County Public Schools received broad media coverage. It should be noted that approximately 98 percent of the professional staff provided quality instruction that day. Classes were covered by colleagues, administrators, supervisors, instructional assistants and volunteers without impinging upon the already strained budget for substitutes. The "sick-out" was not encouraged or condoned by either the Board of Education of Baltimore County or the Teachers Association of Baltimore County.
We totally understand the frustration and anger of employees because of the furloughs which were caused by a budget reduction of $7,814,000. The manner with which faculties coped with the "sick-out" was most commendable. It is obvious to everyone that teachers and other employees have received shabby salary treatment in recent years. They deserve 10 percent salary adjustments rather than reductions. Unfortunately, in the present fiscal climate, this is impossible to achieve.
It is refreshing for teachers to hear that their continuing imaginative, caring and dedicated efforts are appreciated.
Robert Y. Dubel
The writer is superintendent of Baltimore County public schools.
Bob Miller, a spokesman for the Baltimore Orioles management, recently responded to charges by Del. Howard P. Rawlings of Baltimore that the Orioles are neglecting African-Americans in the new stadium activities. Mr. Miller responded that "the team is proud of work we do with inner city kids, the underprivileged kids, with the handicapped and the disabled."
It is quite insensitive and irresponsible of Mr. Miller to characterize the African-American community as "inner city," "underprivileged," "handicapped," "disabled" and as "kids." Perhaps Mr. Miller is unaware that our community comprises all walks of life and spans a wide socio-economic spectrum.
Mr. Miller's statement reflects the very attitudes that perpetuate division between the races and contribute to a neglect of African-Americans in important events in our city.
Just over the line
My husband and I filled out applications for the Ateaze Senior Center. We were excited about joining, but when it was learned we are city residents, we couldn't get a card. We have lived for 35 years in the same place, a couple of blocks from the county line.
We could come to the center as guests but couldn't join. If it's government-funded, it should be open to everyone. We pay higher water bills, higher house taxes, more car insurance.
I have friends who go there. It's closer than other centers and on a bus line. It really hurt deeply to be turned away. I would have been a good member. I love to laugh and have a good time and help others. I almost cried. I just tore up our applications into tiny pieces. A member picked them up.
When I die, my body will be in the county, but it will be too late then.
I don't get it. If everyone in the Bush campaign is so sure that the president has the Republican nomination in the bag, why are they spending so much money to try to discredit Pat Buchanan?
I was angered by a recent television ad in which Mr. Buchanan was criticized for owning a Mercedes-Benz. It was a political "low blow" designed to take some of the air out of Buchanan's "America First" campaign and divert public attention away from Mr. Bush's lack of solutions to America's economic woes.
Not surprisingly, the ad was very effective with its target audience, the many disaffected auto workers in Michigan. On a campaign visit to a local GM plant, workers refused to even talk with Mr. Buchanan and would not allow him to bring a television crew into the plant.
This kind of insignificant, childish mud-slinging is becoming a trademark of the Bush campaign (who could forget Willie Horton?). Unfortunately, it is a sad commentary on the way in which our country chooses its leader.
What has happened to the intelligence of the voting public? I see letter after letter blaming President Bush for all our country's ills. Don't the writers realize that his hands have been tied by a Congress which is not interested in our country, but only in discrediting the opposite party.