Bashing teachersThe recent proposal by State Education...

the Forum

May 10, 1994

Bashing teachers

The recent proposal by State Education Superintendent Nancy Grasmick that teachers rated less than satisfactory be stripped of their certification is another example of the phony reforms being mandated by a state government that lacks the integrity and the insight to initiate real reform.

The state knows the number of teachers rated as unsatisfactory represents less than a tiny fraction of Maryland school teachers.

Nevertheless, the proposal, albeit narrow-minded and laughable, is politically attractive. Let's get tough with those teachers! Where can we find these incompetent teachers?

One would assume in the schools the state has threatened to take over. You know, those schools in the inner city. The same schools that are struggling against handgun violence, drugs, poverty, truancy and chronic disruption.

The state, of course, recognizes this social disparity. That is why it sent millions of dollars to wealthy county school systems for new school construction and a charitable $500,000 to Baltimore City.

Here is an idea. Instead of the repeated political caning of our teachers, suppose the state equitably funded the 24 Maryland school systems?

What if the state did more to help working mothers find quality day care? What if the state government allowed the public more control over local boards of education?

How about cooperating with teachers and administrators to plan initiatives that would provide safe learning environments for our children?

Right. Too difficult, too expensive. Besides, bashing teachers is a lot more fun and good for a few votes.

Robert J. Latham

Ellicott City

Schools need help

I am appalled that the governor and the State Board of Education are threatening state takeover of two city high schools.

Surely the State Board of Education and our superintendent of schools are aware of the unique problems of both schools that are beyond their control.

Revelations from Roger Kuhn, editor of Action Line, in his Perspective article April 17: Students assigned to these schools are quite often unable to make it into city-wide academic or trade schools.

Students assigned to the ninth grade who never completed seventh or eighth grade. Students paroled to the schools from jail.

The plan for improving the Patterson High School could be called a joke if it weren't so asinine.

The city school superintendent, Walter G. Amprey, is well paid to run our schools and provide viable solutions to problems. He has turned his responsibility over to a for-profit business.

How can he justify using our limited school budget to pay a business to run our schools?

That is what he and his staff are paid to do. The experiment has been less than successful by any standards.

EAI and the Patterson improvement plan are the result of a lack of sympathetic, creative, critical thinking within the administration of Baltimore's school system.

Some possible solutions are:

* Elementary through high schools should have assigned social workers and a psychologist or psychiatrist available.

* Parenting classes, job-counseling services and serious parent involvement are necessary to turn the student bodies and the community around. No schools should be dumping grounds.

Our Baltimore public schools are in trouble. The State Board of Education may have done the citizens of Baltimore a favor.

Genevieve W. Mason


Senators' prioritie

It seems awful strange that the U.S.senators could pass a bill for them to be able to park close to the Washington National Airport terminal, but cannot allow the poor slaughtered people of Bosnia to be able to bear arms to protect themselves from the horrible Serbs.

Am I going crazy, or do the senators have their priorities in the right place by taking care of themselves first?

Leonora Dixon


Disney in Va. not likely to help Md.

I agree that the proposed Disney project could be a boon to Maryland by drawing more tourists to the area, and to Baltimore for side trips, but I think your editorial (May 3) is wrong to say that it will be a "gain/no pain" windfall.

As an admitted Disney addict, who visits Disney World for a long stay no less than every second year, I think there is a considerable possibility that Disney America may end up being a big loss to Maryland, and Baltimore in particular, unless the state really works closely with Disney to prevent this from happening.

Disney makes its big bucks by having such incredibly wonderful hotels, park, restaurants, entertainment and shopping on its campus that you never want to leave.

Right now, tourists who come to Baltimore as a side trip to Washington do so for the casual hominess of Harborplace and the reputation the city has for being a safe, clean, fun place to be ` in general, a happy change of pace from Washington.

But let me tell you, there is just no comparison between Harborplace and a Disney park system. Disney will win hands down.

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