Flaws Of 'Exit Outcomes'I must take issue with the...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

June 06, 1993

Flaws Of 'Exit Outcomes'

I must take issue with the editorial of May 23 regarding the "fuss" about exit outcome-based education.

First and foremost, there are those of us who are noconservative fundamentalists who find severe shortcomings in the proposals. My opposition arises from the nature, concept and administration of these proposals.

Perhaps inadvertently, you placed your finger on thesshortcomings when you stated that "These outcomes are nothing more than broad guidelines designed to focus attention on skills needed as people progress through life." In assuming that position, you are ignoring the fundamental differences between "skills" and "education."

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the outcomes. Howeverto make such skills the basis for an educational system is to sacrifice the concept of education for the concept of preparation.

If you will note, the rationale for five of the seven outcomes i based directly upon the graduate's ability to take his or her place in the economic world. Preparation to participate in the economic world is certainly valuable, but is it the reason for public school education? No! The reason for public schools' existence is to turn out educated people.

If the Carroll County's school system is, today, merely requirinstudents to memorize the major battles of the Civil War, that system is severely wanting. More years ago than I care to admit, I was taught the reasons that the Civil War occurred, the relationships between the North and the South and Europe, and some of the strategies employed by the vying armies. I must assume that we do not have to change our school system to continue such teaching, merely require good teachers and good curricula.

A further downside to the "exit outcomes" are the difficulties that have yet to be faced and resolved in assessing student progress. The complaints today regarding tests and reporting procedures will be magnified many-fold with adoption. Since assessing and reporting students progress is an essential part of education, the procedures to do so must be in place and `D satisfactory before changes are made.

The real issues of education are not in preparing our children to be self-sufficient adults. They will be self-sufficient adults if they are educated -- educated in the use and joys of the English language, educated in the basic universal truths of mathematics, educated in the history of the world they will inhabit, educated in the ever-expanding arena of the physical world that they will inhabit, and educated in the enduring and beautiful creative and performing arts that have withstood the test of time and taught the relationships among these disciplines.

As a business person who hires graduates of our school system, please give me an educated person. Day-to-day skills will come easily to that employee.

Ivan S. Sherman

Westminster

Are Men Inherently Violent?

What are we saying about men? Are they nothing but animals who cannot think, cannot control their violence? Are men inherently violent? The military expects violence if gays are admitted to the military because in war. "The first casualty is truth, the second is the value of human life."

The figures gathered by Sen. Joe Biden's staff regarding crimes against women seem to confirm that men are violent -- roughly 21,000 domestic crimes against women are reported to police each week, more than a million assaults, murders and rapes a year. Would someone in the medical community address my question: Are men inherently violent and cannot control their emotions?

Are the macho, feelings of some men -- like those who participated in "Tailhook" -- so important they should be encouraged and promoted by our military? Or should we begin to educate and teach men to expect and demand the best of each other . . . ?

I think prejudice and the unwillingness of men to share authority and power is at the root of a lot of problems. . . . Gays will have to fight for fairness, the same fight fought by blacks and women.

Each of us cannot demand to be liked, but each of us should be able to demand fairness and justice from our president, our government and the military. Gays are part of our human community in every profession. To think otherwise is to put our heads in the sand. . . .

I am a wife, mother and grandmother who does not belong to any civil rights or gay groups. I simply believe in fairness and justice.

Joan Barnhart

Sykesville

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