MPT Has Put TV in Schools For DecadesIn the recent debate...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 28, 1992

MPT Has Put TV in Schools For Decades

In the recent debate over the use of Whittle Communication's Channel One in the Baltimore City public schools, one very important fact has been left out.

For more than 20 years, Maryland Public Television (MPT) has worked with the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to bring the power of television into classrooms in Baltimore City and across the entire state of Maryland.

MPT and MSDE have collaborated to deliver thousands of hours of high quality instructional programming in subjects like math, science, reading and social studies.

Maryland has also produced hundreds of hours of instructional television, much of it acquired by school districts across the country.

Technology for educational purposes is developing at an explosive rate.

Computers, video and cable/telephone technologies are moving closer together, with students the ultimate beneficiaries.

Now more than ever, MPT is working with Maryland's educational community to utilize these new learning technologies.

Our goal is to help provide quality education and access to learning to all students, regardless of geography or financial resources of the local school system.

As former Federal Communications Commission chairman Newton Minow stated: "The most important educational institution in America is television.

"More people learn more each day, each year, each lifetime from television than from any other source. All of television is education. The question is, what are we

Stuart Hudgins

teaching and what are we learning?"

Raymond K. K. Ho

Owings Mills

The writer is the president and chief executive officer of Maryland Public Television.

What Motive?

As a follow-up to your Sept. 8 editorial, "Open Spaces, Closed Mind," one has to wonder what motivated our usually astute Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein to trade off 11 parcels of open spaces for a golf course in Western Maryland.

The land for the course at Rocky Gap in Allegany County already belongs to the state. The other parcels do not, but are available for purchase.

You may be sure that as soon as the state vacates its options, developers who know a fast buck even before it becomes visible to anyone else will snap up every scrap of land that can support a housing unit.

As pointed out, the Open Space Fund has already been depleted by $80 million, money being transferred for uses other than for which it was intended. Why compound that transgression by turning our backs on a program so vital to the well-being of a large proportion of our population?

The golf course and its attendant facilities' plan came from recognition of the need to assist an economically depressed area. No one faults the reasoning here.

But a question remains as to the exact financial benefit accruing. For five, perhaps six months, the course will be unplayable. The state already has been somewhat extravagant in its plans for this layout.

If memory serves correctly, Jack Nicklaus has been chosen as the designer for the course, despite the fact that his bid was considerably higher than any other, perhaps by several hundred thousand dollars.

This was done with an eye to the drawing power of his name and reputation. For a tournament or so, this may have the desired effect.

But overwhelmingly the course will be used by golfers in the surrounding areas and, if experience in other localities is any criterion, as long as the layout is challenging they have little concern as to whether it is designed by Jack Nicklaus or Jack the Ripper.

Abner Kaplan

Baltimore

Fighting a Stigma

Richard Vatz's and Lee Weinberg's article in the Sept. 13 edition of The Sun is the most recent piece by this pair expressing the opinion that mental illness is no more than socially undesirable behavior.

Such opinions are still common among those who have little or no contact with people suffering from psychiatric disorders.

While it is tempting to dismiss these ideas as armchair theorizing, we believe they need rebuttal, as they ultimately do a disservice to the mentally ill.

There is increasing evidence (acknowledged, albeit reluctantly, by Messrs. Vatz and Weinberg) of brain changes associated with many major mental illnesses, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

One-sided opinions dismissing such evidence tend to encourage the "flat-earthers" who are reluctant to fund mental health care and research, preferring continued stigmatization of psychiatric conditions.

The end result is that obtaining the information necessary to characterize and treat such disorders as ADHD is further delayed. We are then left precisely where Messrs. Vatz and Weinberg claim we are -- dealing with an "ill-defined" condition for which no "laboratory tests" exist.

Judith and Godfrey Pearlson

Parkton

Call the Reserve

In a column Sept. 2, James J. Kilpatrick called for restructuring the National Guard to better prepare for response to natural disasters. Specifically, he said: "The National Guard has too many foot soldiers and not enough civil engineers."

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