The fourth R moves nation out of riskRecently there have...

the Forum

May 26, 1993

The fourth R moves nation out of risk

Recently there have been many articles on the education problem in Maryland and in the country.

The reason we are called "A Nation at Risk" is because too many children are not absorbing what they are taught.

In addition, it seems the administrators, principals and teachers are not partners in the same organization for the best possible education of the children. All must communicate their best resources and plans for a good system. It can work.

Many blame the failure on politics, the bureaucracy, the budget, the information world, labor unions, the tests, property taxes, parents, class sizes, non-competitive teachers, no choice or vouchers, etc.

Why not look inside the elementary schoolhouse and its curriculum of the three R's? The fourth R is Reason -- thinking. It must be made into a separate subject that is taught to all grades, by the media specialist for example. All students must be given the opportunity to develop the neural pathways more fully in the formative years, so that they will be more capable of greater things now and in the future. That is why the fourth R must be a subject with its own categories.

I am ready to give a one-hour demonstration to an elementary class in any school with its media specialist, to show the initiation of reasoning and thinking as a separate process in education.

Alvin Polan

Owings Mills

Father and son

I find it interesting that one of the most vocal opponents to President Clinton's plan to end the ban on homosexuals serving in the military has a son who is gay. I wonder how many others who support the ban do have family members who are gay.

A detail about the article "Father and son: at odds but at peace" (May 16) needs further explanation.

First, since Col. Fred Peck basically admitted that Scott Peck was his son sired while the elder Peck was a midshipman, then Colonel Peck broke the Uniform Code of Military Justice by engaging in sexual relations with someone to whom he was not married . . .

Louis Richards


Counting the days

The only good thing about President Clinton's first 100 days in office is that he only had 1,360 days left.

Hopefully, time will fly.

John C. Zaruba


Pampered addicts

Substance abusers are being pampered by us -- kept on other forms of drugs, given Social Service checks, never given a fair break so they can break free. Tough love and a firm commitment to cure their addictions are what is needed.

Maryland could lead the way, but where are our leaders? Someone must help break the cycle of hell on earth for these wretched souls.

Lorrie Buckler

Yale Heights

Great event

It is a great event that Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski III has been chosen to run a predominantly white university, UMBC. Dr. Hrabowski, George Russell, Kurt Schmoke and other black leaders have shown that they will not be deterred, that they will persevere until they succeed.

It would be wonderful if black leaders could develop programs to instill the same incentive in youth and stop the senseless killing of young black men.

Henry J. Knott Jr.


Independent judge

A staunch bulwark of democracy in a free society is an independent judiciary.

One need only recall the infamous Nazi judge Roland Freisler, who presided over the farcical trials of the conspirators against Hitler, to know that a non-independent judiciary can work hand in glove with special interest groups and can bring about political change according to the will of those in a society who cause the most commotion, and not necessarily in conformity with what should be done.

Whether one agrees or disagrees with Judge Thomas Bollinger in his views, most agree that he did what in his conscience he thought was the right thing.

To be sure, it is the right in a free society of those who disagree with him to show their disagreement by picketing and making statements.

However, when they make statements such as, "We will continue to picket until Judge Bollinger is disciplined," or they attempt to have him removed from the bench, they cross the line separating the rest of society from an independent judiciary.

We put individuals of wisdom on the bench and elect them for 15 years in order to insulate them from plebiscites. To force any judge to bow to the will of any activist group is wrong and constitutes a subtle but dangerous precedent whereby eventually people, and not laws, will rule.

L. Robert Evans


French lesson

It took 51 days of bungling and mistakes by the FBI and ATF to rid Waco, Texas, of cult leader David Koresh. Many lives were lost.

A story in The Sun May 16 reveals how a 46-hour kidnapping siege in Paris was handled by members of RAID -- the French police. This crazed person took six little girls and a teacher -- He was armed with dynamite. RAID performed with hair-raising heroism.

Is there a lesson that we can learn from the French? There were no long days of indecision and pizza deliveries -- and no deaths.

Arlene A. Banks


Drivers beware

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