Constant FluxAs a parent with a child in the Baltimore...


December 22, 1992

Constant Flux

As a parent with a child in the Baltimore City schools, I am extremely discouraged by the constant state of flux our political leaders and school administrators force upon our schools and the students they are supposed to serve.

The result is a lot of wasted energy when such energy would be better spent trying to make some real improvements. Instead of focusing the attention on improving our schools, each successive move seems designed to bring the entire system down to the lowest common denominator.

Only the latest example is the rezoning plan put before the school superintendent, Dr. Walter G. Amprey, and the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners.

This plan directly threatens many schools in the city where principals, teachers, parents and students have joined together and have worked hard over many years to improve learning for children. Two of the most prominent examples are the Barclay and Roland Park elementary-middle schools.

I fail to see how losing some of the more effective schools in the city, thereby forcing families out of the system, will benefit the children of Baltimore.

A better approach would be to take the schools where students are performing well and use them as building blocks to improve all of the city's schools. In short, these schools should be used as models upon which to spread success.

It is incredible to me that a city that needs committed families and help for its schools seems most intent on destroying schools that work. Is it necessary to be continually starting all over?

Harold Kanarek


Common Ground

In his Dec. 9 letter, Paul Morrison recognizes and welcomes the voice of reason in the Sandy Banisky article regarding the need for a cease-fire in the abortion war. I share his enthusiasm for seeking common ground among all parties concerned with abortion.

Unfortunately, your readers have been treated to another strident column by Cal Thomas, who identifies himself as pro-life. "No, we haven't lost," he writes, adding that " . . pro-lifers have only begun to fight."

Does this mean that he intends to continue warping the language with inflammatory phrases like "taking the life of her unborn child" or the totally misleading "abortion-on-demand position"?

It would indeed be tragic if we must again witness the excesses of pro-lifers blockading or bombing health clinics and harassing not only physicians who perform abortions but children as well.

A common goal that could be pursued in good conscience by all who believe that abortion is not the optimum solution to unwanted pregnancies is the elimination of the need for abortion.

Pro-choice people I have spoken with have assured me that they would be willing to work with anti-abortion people to promote programs which would decrease the incidence of unwanted pregnancies.

More effective sex education including and stressing abstinence, family planning and birth control services in communities both nationally and internationally are just a few rTC areas in which both sides of the abortion debate could make a positive contribution to the well-being of women and born children.

Myron Bates


Depressing Critic

I would like to nominate for "Ebenezer Scrooge of the Year" The Sun's own movie critic Stephen Hunter, whose very negative review of the new "Muppet Christmas Carol" was, I thought, very misleading.

The movie is a marvelous, magical, beautifully photographed retelling of the story that has touched many a heart since Dickens' time.

The citizens of Victorian London are portrayed by a manic mix of human and Muppet characters, including rats, pigs, dogs and singing vegetables.

The producers have managed to preserve the solemnity of the original story, while adding original pieces of Muppet whimsy. The marble busts of Dante, Shakespeare and Moliere, made to look like Muppets, are worth the price of admission.

Hunter, in all his reviews, exhibits a sharp intellect and literate style, soured by a bleak, macho, cynical vision of humanity. Death, despair and destruction win his praise, while simplicity, idealism and glee are scorned.

He should try the movie again; perhaps the Muppet-ish spirits of the season will convert him to a warmer, more humanistic outlook, lest he become the most depressing movie critic in America.

It would be too bad if his bah, humbug review of the Muppet movie were to deter any moviegoers from seeing this delightful, funny film.

Denise Barker


The Old Blues

When I was a member of the board of directors of Maryland Blue Cross, representing labor, from 1964 to 1973, there were no salaries, no bonuses and no expense money.

None of the board (excepting officers) expected to get paid anything for the couple hours they spent at the monthly meetings. It was considered a community service. I do remember getting a free lunch at one of the board meetings -- it was a club sandwich, a bit stale.

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