Schools need good attitudes, not more cashIn a March 27...

the Forum

April 06, 1994

Schools need good attitudes, not more cash

In a March 27 article in The Sunday Sun by Sara Engram, entitled "In Education Money Matters," the opinion was advanced that the lack of financial allocations to schools is the cause of poor academic achievement.

I believe that nothing is more incorrect. The notion that fancy equipment in schools, high tech curriculum or whatever it is that "rich" schools have, produce good test scores and invite good attendance is simply not true.

When will parents, media people who write and talk about education and politicians realize that the most basic and most important requirement for good academic progress is parent and student attitudes?

Good attitudes toward the importance of a good education and good attitudes toward the respect for authority must be present before maximum achievement can be attained.

Authority, in this case, means all authority figures as well the authority institution of society that provides for a free education.

Where do attitudes become attitudes? Everyone knows that the answer to that question is "in the home." To imply that poor children can't learn is absurd.

To offer more equipment, newer facilities or revamped curriculum as a "fix" is the saddest attitude of all. To suggest and excuse parental responsibility from teaching good attitudes in the home because there is an issue of low economics is misplacing the "blame."

Blame education, blame the lack of money, blame the need for both parents working, blame the lack of time, but whatever, it seems fashionable to not blame the parents for "looking the other way" when they should be giving their children the "tools" (attitudes) essential for achieving well in school and for attaining a happy and successful life.

The educational profession cannot do much with children who ** have poor attitudes.

Children cannot be blamed too much for having poor attitudes, because they carry the attitude-banner handed to them by their parents.

Everyone is and should be pleading for student success. The solution to that plea is in the heads and hearts of the home, not in the nation's nor in the states' nor in the local subdivisions' pocketbooks.

William F. Myers


Adoption process

It is inexcusable that the state of Maryland only has the resources to expedite 400 out of 1,300 cases of children waiting for adoption per year, as reported by Sara Engram in Perspective Feb. 27.

Yet, the state supports the annual expenditure to maintain the bureaucracy of the social welfare system and the state court system needed to monitor the lives of people who grow up being shipped from one foster care home to another.

Ms. Engram reports that it takes an average of five to seven years to complete an adoption and that an additional $3 million would boost the number of adoptions by 250 to 300 children.

That averages $10,000 per child. What can be done to reduce the cost required and the time needed to find a suitable home for a child?

Reducing the average time the state requires to complete an adoption, by decreasing the time it takes to terminate parental rights, would help to lower costs.

In 1970, Pennsylvania considered six months an adequate length of time to terminate parental rights, making a child available for adoption.

Legislation requiring a one-year limit to terminate parental rights is being considered in Maryland's legislature and should be passed.

One year for a parent not to visit a child one time, not to remember a child's birthday with even a card, or not to contribute time or money toward a child's care is certainly more than enough time to determine that a child has been abandoned and for the courts to act on a termination petition.

Ms. Engram's comments are certainly thought provoking, and the legislators in Annapolis, who vote on the parental rights termination bill, should pass this legislation as the first step in reducing costs while improving the speed of the process by which the state of Maryland finds homes for children waiting for adoption.

anby Robertson


Copy cat

Most people are aware that Hillary Clinton's 1,336-page health care reform proposal, presented to Congress and the nation with much fanfare after months and months of secret meetings by hundreds of unidentified health care task force members, at who knows what cost . . . has been declared "unacceptable" by many members of Congress.

But what most people don't know is that the main features of her proposal are the same features presented in the 22 pages that comprise Chapter 5 of "Mandate for Change," a book written under the auspices of the Progressive Policy Institute of the Democratic Leadership Council prior to Hillary Clinton's many months of secret meetings.

Universal coverage, managed competition, a national health board . . . it's all there in Chapter 5.

So just think how much time, effort and taxpayers' money could have been saved if she had simply given each member of Congress a copy of this $11.95 book.

Richard T. Seymour


Farrakhan, myth and fact

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