Grasmick's project won't help studentsState School...

the Forum

September 22, 1992

Grasmick's project won't help students

State School Superintendent Nancy Grasmick is a perfect example of a government administrator who uses our tax money for her own autocratic, self-serving purposes, instead of that for which it was intended.

Forced community service by students in order to graduate may enhance Mrs. Grasmick's prestige, but it has no more to do with their education than wasting school hours watching TV at home.

Can you imagine the accelerated deterioration of our children's education thanks to this idiocy?

Here we are with our children the worst educated of any technological nation on earth, with disciplinary problems, drop-outs, minimum home work assignments of only one hour per night for junior high school students, teachers barely qualified to teach what they are assigned and the remaining good teachers bedeviled with administrative paper work (at least 40 percent of their working day) thanks to non-educational projects that have flooded the educational school curriculum.

Parents should demand that their school educational tax dollar be used only for the purpose for which it was intended, i.e., teaching our children reading, writing, mathematical skills, science, the classics and history.

It is about time we demand a riddance to the ilk of administrators such as Mrs. Grasmick who foist on our children their pet dream projects which have nothing to do with education.

J. Edward Johnston Jr.

Timonium

Arms budget deserves more attention

In a time of serious economic problems -- when much of every tax dollar goes just to pay interest on the national debt -- why has there been so little action to reduce defense spending?

Generals and politicians inevitably prepare for the last war. Yes, the world is still a dangerous place. But that doesn't justify continued support for inefficient structures and procedures that date back to Harry Truman and his defense secretary, James Forrestal.

Surely the American people, who are desperate for jobs, health care and education, aren't willing to throw away billions of dollars to support interservice rivalries, waste and duplication, political turf battles and a bloated bureaucracy.

Strategy should reflect tomorrow's reality. There have been fundamental and radical changes in the world over the last few years; simply tinkering with old policies, as President Bush is doing, is a dangerous disservice.

The new president will have an opportunity to appoint a high-powered, broad-based, bipartisan group to analyze U.S. security and defense needs in the 21st century and then recommend strategies that best serve the American people. Presumably the results will be unlike today's self-serving, anachronistic, defense dinosaur that is devouring our revenues.

Roger C. Kostmayer

Baltimore

Judging character

Too much is made of the issue as to whether one candidate or the other has the moral character to be president.

Why should moral character even be a prerequisite? Since when does moral courage equate with greatness?

Richard Nixon is probably going to go down in history as a great president. Too bad that he had the minor problem of being a liar.

Ronald Reagan, who was in part responsible for creating a truly dysfunctional family, was the hero of the far-right religious zealots.

And George Bush doesn't flip-flop on issues to win votes. He just lies to get elected.

Bill Clinton is probably no different. He doesn't even have the courage to take pride in being a draft dodger.

Let's take morality out of the election. Managing and reviving a sick economy takes experience and vision. Arguing over whose morality is better is a waste of time and accomplishes nothing.

Myles B. Hoenig

Baltimore

Status-quo leader

The more one hears President Bush (via James Baker), the better Bill Clinton sounds.

Now, Mr. Bush says he'll "do anything" to get re-elected. However, when he is a lame duck and does not have to worry about re-election, will he do anything at all?

After four years of reading empty words from speech writers, the president seems to fit the apt description made by Duffy and Goodgame (Time magazine's White House reporters) in "Marching in Place, the Status Quo Presidency": "Politics for Bush seems to exist in a realm entirely separate from governing."

Since he was asked how he would react to a grandchild facing an abortion decision, little has been heard about his staunch "pro-life" stance. Dan Quayle and Barbara Bush have been pushed on stage to soften the Republican hard line on that controversial issue.

If Mr. Bush keeps bragging about his military service, it is only fair to compare his academic credentials with those of Gov. Clinton.

Gov. Clinton did not have a rich senator father paying his tuition but nonetheless achieved the highest honors on scholarships. His graduate degrees and Rhodes scholar status far exceed anything the president can compete with.

As for Hillary Clinton, I think the Republicans are jealous that they have no one to compete with her brain power.

Sylvia B. Mandy

Baltimore

Health gatekeepers

Wake up, Maryland state employees. You are about to lose your freedom to choose your mental health clinician.

Soon a "gatekeeper" whom you will never see will have the power to decide whether it is necessary for you to receive mental health or substance abuse treatment, and, if so, by whom and for how long you may receive such care.

The state of Maryland is requesting approval from the Board of Public Works for a plan to save money by changing from the current array of choices to a managed-care mental health plan for all employees.

No longer will you and your chosen clinician be the ones to make decisions about the nature of your mental health treatment.

The new contract is to be considered tomorrow for implementation on Jan. 1, 1993.

If state employees wish to have their views considered in this matter, they should contact the members of the Board of Public Works: Gov. William Donald Schaefer, Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein and Treasurer Lucille Maurer.

Eve Berkow

Baltimore

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