Liberals Using ChildrenThe letter from the Northfield...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

May 29, 1994

Liberals Using Children

The letter from the Northfield Elementary fifth grade class in your May 8 edition is just another blatant attempt by liberals to exploit children to achieve their socialist aims. Whoever put those children up to writing that letter must be taking cues from Hillary and her constant use of anecdotes about sick children to achieve government-controlled health care. But at least Hillary gets some facts right. Instead of teaching anti-Second Amendment rhetoric and blaming crime on guns instead of placing the blame where it belongs, . . . public schools should be focusing a bit more on U.S. history. The children's claim (or was it the children?) that 32,500 people were killed in the Civil War is only off by about 560,000. No wonder our public schools are producing students and citizens who believe the media's propaganda about gun control, health care, welfare, etc.

James G. McLeod

Ellicott City

Cale's Recovery

On Feb. 24, I was struck by a motor vehicle and sustained serious injuries. I am now at home and recuperating nicely, due in no small part to my wonderful family. But many, many people have sent flowers and gifts, cards and letters. . . . Thank you one and all for helping me and my family through an extremely difficult time in our lives. . . .

Leslie J. Cale

Ellicott City

The writer is a Democratic candidate for Howard County Clerk of the Courts.

Child Care Subsidy

A letter to the editor which suggested a national child care subsidy (May 8) may show either where our society is going or how far it has already come. The premise here is that you can choose a job because you like it and if it doesn't pay enough the government will provide "enough." . . . How many successful socialist states can you name?

The reason that government redistribution of funds to people doesn't work is that it destroys work incentives, bringing everyone down to the same level. . . .

If the previous writer wants "enough," she should provide a better service, to gain more customers or charge more for the service she offers. The market will decide whether people will pay more. If not, it's time to look for other work. . . .

Dick Buczek

Ellicott City

School Board

This fall, the people of Howard County will have the opportunity to elect to the school board a thoughtful and independent thinker and leader, Jamie Kendrick, an 18-year-old college student. For two years, Mr. Kendrick served as student member of the school board, first on the local board and then for a year on the state Board of Education.

As a recent graduate of the Howard County public schools, Mr. Kendrick knows first-hand the realities of our school system. . . . Additionally, Mr. Kendrick would bring a youthful perspective and would add geographical balance since he is an Elkridge resident.

Likewise, Delroy Cornick, an Afro-American, merits serious consideration. His credentials are quite impressive and without a doubt he is extremely well qualified to serve on the Board of Education. After the late Bill Manning, there has been no Afro-American on the board. Dr. Cornick would add racial balance.

Having representation on the basis of race, gender, age and geographical location should always be a consideration.

Vivian C. Bailey

Columbia

On Technology Equity

School officials are scratching their heads over Kevin Thomas' commentary and The Sun's editorial on technology equity in schools. Several of us had lengthy conversations about the technology initiative with Mr. Thomas and are baffled as to how he could have drawn the conclusions he did based on the information we shared with him.

To set the record straight, a school-by-school inventory of both computers and other instructional equipment is available. Shortly before the Technology Equity Report went to the Board of Education, staff noticed some errors in the numbers and therefore the inventory was pulled . . . for revision, but, as we told Mr. Thomas, the corrected inventory is now available. We even offered to send him a copy.

The other statement with which we take issue deals with equity. Mr. Thomas assumes that "equity" means "equal." The dictionary and the school system define equity as "fair" or "just." It is not, nor has it ever been, our intention that all schools be supplied with an equal number of computers. Mr. Thomas suggests that the system "can and should establish a minimum standard for each school." If he had read the Technology Equity Report, Mr. Thomas surely would have noticed that a minimum standard is exactly what is being recommended.

Howard County parents and students can be assured that, contrary to Mr. Thomas' supposition, computer and instructional equipment equity is a priority for this school system. Unfortunately, the system has had a number of "priorities" that have been put on hold in the past several years as a result of significant cuts to the education budget. Over the past three years, the only things driving the education budgets have been increasing student enrollments and salaries.

This year, the Board of Education and the superintendent felt compelled to begin addressing the needs of older schools. The need has become critical and it will be more than unfortunate if our attempts to address these needs are delayed yet another year.

Patti Caplan

Ellicott City

The writer is public information officer for the Howard County public school system.

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