ScholarshipsSenatorial scholarships being awarded by state...

the Forum

November 06, 1992

Scholarships

Senatorial scholarships being awarded by state senators have offended me for several reasons. First, it is not a fair practice. Second, it does nothing but foster political patronage for incumbent senators -- rather than help education.

At present, Maryland state senators determine who gets slices of their annual scholarship money. Further, state delegates also enjoy this political perk.

There are some elected officials who will agree with me, in regard to the awarding of scholarships. For example, Del. Gerry Brewster has surrendered his political perk of awarding state scholarships to the State Scholarship Administration. Sen. Janice Piccinini has also relinquished her role in awarding state scholarship money.

Certainly there are other elected officials who have removed themselves from awarding state scholarship money. Although I am elated by the actions of a few elected officials, more must be done. It is time that all elected officials relinquish their role of playing Santa Claus with taxpayers' money.

In closing, I support state aid to needy and deserving students to advance their education. However, I feel many will agree with me that there is no sound reason why state scholarship money should be given out by politicians.

ohn A. Micklos

Baltimore

Dr. Berger's ill wind of change

The winds of change are blowing through the Baltimore County school system. Yet instead of a cool refreshing breeze these are gales ready to stir up a storm that will wreak havoc on the schools.

People speak of Dr. Stuart Berger's candor as "a breath of fresh air." Yet as a concerned parent, I feel it is imperative to look beyond how he says things and concentrate on what is being said.

The public should be made aware that Baltimore County teachers are no longer to be concerned with teaching a set curriculum. The main goal of education is self-esteem; students are to feel good about themselves.

As a consequence, curriculum as we now know it will not be covered. According to my friends in education, gone are the specific compositions and skills, along with the required authors.

It is possible that, under Dr. Berger's reign, students will attempt to enter college without having been exposed to Chaucer, Shakespeare, Dickens, Twain, Crane or other writers most colleges expect students to know. The chances for success in college are bleak for students with no background or experience.

Dr. Berger and those in education are required to spout the party line. They tell the public of the wonderful aspects of the "new education" while side-stepping the vast pitfalls. Once the educational jargon is stripped away, I fear we will be left with a system which leaves its students unable to compete in society.

The politicians and most Americans are decrying the present state of the American education system. We are constantly told that American students rank far below their counterparts of other industrial nations. Now is the time for curriculum to be stressed; now is the time for facts to be taught.

It is inconceivable that now is the time Dr. Berger chooses to withdraw from curriculum. Self-esteem is a wonderful goal, but not to the point of lack of knowledge.

Parents should be concerned about the lack of education Baltimore County students will receive under the guidance of Dr. Berger.

We are going to raise a generation of ignorant people who will at least feel good about their ignorance. Is this really the future we want for our children?

Sharon Lin

Owings Mills

Cruel changes

In a brief article you stated that proposed cuts in Maryland Medicaid assistance to nursing home residents will affect only 2,000 residents statewide. This does not accurately portray the extent of the cuts.

Not only will 2,000 patients who are currently receiving Medicaid assistance be ruled ineligible, but thousands of other nursing home residents who over the years have been fully paying for care will be ruled ineligible for Medicaid when their savings are exhausted.

In addition, all of those who may require long-term care assistance from Medicaid in the future will be ineligible if their gross monthly income exceeds $1,050.

The state has been trying to slip these proposals through under the guise that they affect only a few middle-class elderly.

But more is at stake than that, and the public should be made aware of the far-reaching implication of these cruel and inequitable changes.

Charles Connolly

Baltimore

Halloween

Reading Linda Hummel's article "A holiday gone awry" (Oct. 30) was touching. It reminded me of the time when I couldn't wait for my mom to come home from work so I could go out to trick or treat.

A costume for me was finding a dress that my mom no longer wore and using a belt or rag tied around my waist to hold it up. To top that off, I was allowed to go outside with an old pair of her heels on, and to put lipstick on my lips and cheeks.

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