School ProblemsYour June 12 editorial, ''Glendening and...


June 18, 1994

School Problems

Your June 12 editorial, ''Glendening and the Teachers,'' says that Marylanders are not getting their money's worth for their tax dollars. This implies, as does all of the editorial, that any deficiencies in education are the sole responsibilities of the teachers.

As usual, you fail to address the primary factor for poor achievement -- the failure of the home, in an increasing number of cases, to send us a ''teachable'' individual.

I have been teaching for the past 28 years and can assure you that students who are making the effort to learn are getting a much higher level of education today than they did 28 years ago.

Teachers are working harder and putting in longer hours than when I began. The equipment and methods of instruction available to students are far superior today. Teacher in-service training and the number of teachers taking advantage of that training has dramatically increased.

Teachers today, with very few exceptions, are interested in only one thing, a quality instructional program for the benefit of youngsters. They work very hard (usually with little or no recognition -- especially from the media) toward that end.

Twenty-eight years ago, it was rare to have a student not turn in an assignment. Today, it is extremely unusual to have an entire class turn in an assignment on time, if at all. On numerous occasions the turn-in rate is not much more than 50 percent.

Certainly, teachers and schools have a large responsibility in providing a quality education. However, let's not lose sight of the fact that responsibility for the desired outcome also rests elsewhere.

In my opinion, it's that ''elsewhere'' that causes us to come short in far too many cases.

ohn H. Gregory


Generation X

The June 10 editorial celebrating the accomplishments of "New Age Prodigies" inaccurately and egregiously takes a swipe at my generation.

By stating that the "real wave of the future will be the generation coming right after Generation X," you join a chorus of those proclaiming people in their twenties to be the "Lost Generation."

Your pre-judgment couldn't be further from the truth.

Although we were not tempered by the Vietnam War, as our elders constantly remind us, we have come of age in the gross proliferation of a domestic civil war called divorce.

We did not participate in marches in Washington for civil rights, yet we are the most tolerant generation. We don't protest for the hungry; we feed them in soup kitchens.

My generation does not seek headlines like those who preceded us, but we are more content with the steady progress of gradual change.

Your indictment overlooks thousands of twentysomethings who contribute daily to the betterment of Baltimore. Teach for America does it daily in the classroom, Hands on Baltimore does it through volunteer service, and Project Hunger does it by delivering food from Oriole Park to local shelters.

We may not be as flashy, but as with the tortoise and the hare, "slow and steady wins the race." Don't judge us yet; our time has just begun.

ripp Burgunder


National Pariah

In his June 10 article, Julian Bond basically condemned the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for inviting the leader of the Nation of Islam, Minister Louis Farrakhan, to the recent Baltimore summit.

I strongly agree with the writer that hatred, bigotry, victimization, finger-pointing, name-calling or any kind of negative and divisive message that seems to be the credo of the Nation of Islam should no longer be tolerated. Having said that, though, I do not agree with the idea of associating the NAACP with anti-Semitism, simply because it extended an invitation to Minister Farrakhan.

I strongly believe that the best way to combat evil is to confront it and not run away from it.

It is through consultation, an exchange of ideas with Mr. Farrakhan, that he can be persuaded to change the tune of his antagonistic messages that have become obsolete and join the rest of the peace-loving Jews, African-Americans and other Americans in this wonderful country of ours. Marginalizing Mr. Farrakhan and transforming him into a national pariah will not make him change his destructive statements.

Based on some the achievements of the Nation of Islam, I believthe potential for more constructive involvement in the building of our country does exist. Let our motto be "forgiveness" and not always "revenge."

Ntanda Nkingi Nkere


Prison Rape

I would like to comment on the June 14 editorial on homosexual prison rape.

Society, for the most part, rejects the death penalty as being ''inhumane'' but this same society seems to think it is more "humane" to lock up a person for a few years, allow them to be violently abused and gang-raped, and then expect this same person to be magically ''rehabilitated'' into a law-abiding citizen upon release from prison.

Wake up, folks! Rape doesn't rehabilitate anyone. It just further damages people who are already damaged in their minds, and also helps spread AIDS.

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