King of Greenwood
As a veteran teacher in Baltimore County, I was deeply disheartened by your Aug. 26 editorial, "Berger's the Boss."
The demotions of the 40 principals and assistant principals was a carefully orchestrated scam on Dr. Berger's part, designed not to replace incompetent staff but to swell the ranks of the top with those who have proven loyalty to the superintendent. You completely lose sight of the ego problem that drives Dr. Berger to make staffing changes.
Let's examine what really happened to those victims of the Monday Massacre.
Obviously he had decided as early as March when he "changed the rules" for "downgradings" that these 40 employees had to go. However, he deliberately waited until three days after school got out for summer vacation to notify his victims. Why?
It seems fairly clear that he delayed informing the public for fear that the furor would add to the backlash he had already created with the infusion controversy. Had Dr. Berger made this announcement while schools were still in session, he would have risked far more wrath from an already-angry segment of parents and teachers.
Superintendent Robert Dubel was quite comfortable in his role as boss; unfortunately, Dr. Berger insists on being king. I am one of many frustrated employees in this system who feel this way.
Many of us see a very simple solution to a relatively complicated problem: Why not invite Robert Dubel back to finish up what he started here? If reform is what is needed in our educational system, shouldn't we have a reformer rather than a revolutionary
at the helm?
I appreciate your Sept. 6 editorial's interest in the year-around education of Maryland youth. Your comment about the importance of teaching methods, student grouping, instructional materials and educational technology is well taken. However, we must rely on other avenues to address the overcrowding dilemma faced by our schools.
In some areas, educators have elected to combat bulging school enrollments and limited space by using relocatables; busing students to a community church; combining grade levels; confining student to classrooms during lunch and recess; restricting parking for staff, parents and students; teaching in basements, closets and hallways; duplicating assemblies; "roving" special area teachers, and offering school programs in alternative facilities.
None of these options is ideal.
Despite the controversial nature of utilizing school buildings all year for educational purposes, this concept can clearly be designed to help alleviate classroom overcrowding. Instead of saying no to year-round schools, please encourage school communities to explore all options before deciding what is best for their children.
Nancy Nowak's Resignation
I was outraged to read in The Sun (Sept. 4) of the forced resignation of Nancy J. Nowak as director of parole and probation for Maryland. As a resident of Baltimore, I was naturally concerned when I read less than a week before (The Sunday Sun, Aug. 28) about the 2,092 violent and serious offenders who were loose in the community virtually unsupervised. The one reassuring note was that Ms. Nowak had come on board, was looking into the matter and presumably could be expected to do something about it.
But no sooner had I absorbed the bad news than the grain of hope embedded within it was taken away. Ms Nowak has been forced out -- for talking about the problem! What is going on? It's not as if she could keep it a secret. We, the public, may not have known the specifics, but we have been aware for some time that something was seriously wrong with the penal system. Acts of terrible violence have been breaking out all over. When the perpetrator is caught, he frequently turns out to be an escapee, parolee or probationer. I would say that Ms. Nowak's "time bomb" is already going off.
Susan J. Gaztanaga
I want to express my appreciation to Nancy Nowak for her commentary on the inherent dangers in the supervision of thousands of people on parole and probation. As a long time employee, now retired, I can attest that her remarks were entirely accurate and justified and certainly in the public interest.
Because of her "expose" she was forced out as state director of parole and probation by Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services Bishop Robinson.
0$ Thus the hazards of bureaucracy.
Daniel W. Wood
We have felt discriminated against by cable companies for years.
Comcast won't run cable because we live too far out and there are only 37 homes in our development. Prestige Cable is only a mile and a half from us -- but that is Carroll County, so they won't service us. The Bell Telephone Co. can run cable to us, but the FCC will not allow that, fearing that would give cable companies too much competition.