Dr. Berger's self-serving criticsFor some time I have been...

the Forum

August 20, 1993

Dr. Berger's self-serving critics

For some time I have been observing with considerable concern and distaste the efforts of an organized band of dissatisfied parents, fearful school administrative and teaching personnel, politicos and general rabble-rousers to force Stuart Berger tobring his ideas and policies regarding the conduct and content of public education into conformity with their wishes.

We will all agree, I believe, that the education system now is not working.

There is no gainsaying the fact that by virtue of his experience, education and training, Dr. Berger is uniquely qualified to bring about the necessary improvements. That is the reason he was hired, not his skill in the art of public relations.

In contrast to the members of the group comprising his opposition, Dr. Berger has one very distinct advantage -- he can afford to be and is completely objective.

Let us consider the nature of that opposition.

First, the parents. The only question in their collective minds is, "How does what Dr. Berger is proposing to do affect my child?" Dr. Berger's concern is with all of the children in the school system.

Second, school administrators, teachers, school boards, etc.. They are simply protecting their turf to maintain the status quo at all costs. Politicians may be dismissed; they go any which way the wind blows with, of course, some exceptions.

Just as an aside, it may be hoped that Dr. Berger's efforts, onchis programs are in place, will move in the direction of screening out incompetent and marginally qualified instructors. (The latter may be a vain hope since teachers' unions are invariably roused to fury by any mention of testing for competency).

Baltimore County is hard on school superintendents; it searched long and hard to find a person considered qualified and able to deal with what is undoubtedly the most difficult and demanding job in local government. It was fortunate, indeed, to find Dr. Berger.

But instead of being allowed to do the job for which he was chosen, he has been forced to face a storm of criticism and opposition to any decision he makes.

It has become increasingly apparent that what Dr. Berger'organized opponents really would like is less of a superintendent and more of a door mat.

Alfred B. Miller


The Hitler plot

I am glad that Carl Schoettler mentioned the German resistance fighters who unsuccessfully tried to assassinate Hitler July 20, 1944,(news article, July 25). Had they succeeded in eliminating Hitler at this time, millions of lives could have been saved.

Having lived in Germany during the war, I am often asked: "Why did no one speak out, protest or resist Hitler's cruel regime?" The answer to this question is that it was almost impossible. Everyone who dared to criticize or oppose Hitler ended up in prison or a concentration camp.

The elite of the German officer's corps, the clergy and many honorable German citizens who took part in the assassination attempt had risked not only their own lives but those of their family members also.

Pregnant wives and old parents were thrown into prisons, and the children of the conspirators were put in state institutions or foster homes. This was called "Sippenhaft" -- not only did one sacrifice one's own life but those of one,s entire family.

One way in which Hitler had some of the conspirators and the over 500 resistance fighters executed was by hanging them with wire from butcher hooks while a designated film crew had to document their slow and painful deaths for Hitler to view.

vividly remember the great disappointment, anguish and fear of my parents when the attempt on Hitler's life failed.

Adelheid I. Donner


One vote for Colts, two for Rhinos

How could there be a football team in Baltimore with any other name than the Baltimore Colts?

So instead of trying to come up with a new name for our team -- a name which has to fall flat on its pigskin -- why not talk to the guys in Indianapolis and implore them to give us back our name?

In exchange, our city will forgive and forget that dastardly night they moved out of town, and we'll provide a new name for their team, the Indies.

8, It is better in keeping with their city.

Emanuel S. Glasser

Owings Mills


What's wrong with the Rhinos?

The opposition states that the rhino has no Maryland connection, but consider the names of other NFL and college teams.

There are hardly any lions or tigers in Michigan or Ohio. There is never a mention in history of Vikings landing in Minnesota or Raiders in California.

In the college ranks, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame and the USC Trojans are a little hard to equate.

The choice of a team name is really one of symbolism. A rhinoceros is not a symbol of grace and beauty, but of raw strength and sheer power.

The image of a charging rhinoceros is at once intimidating and awe-inspiring but hardly as tame as some of the other suggested names: Ravens, Stallions or Bombers. Those are not the images we equate with a hard-hitting football team.

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