Ticket MatesWhen are we going to see a debate between the...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 26, 1994

Ticket Mates

When are we going to see a debate between the two candidates for lieutenant governor?

How many voters even know their names?

In a presidential election, we are exposed to teams. Isn't a lieutenant governor similar to a vice president?

They do not make policy, but they are in command when the governor is away.

Harry S. Wolf

Baltimore

The Real EAI Issue

In your effort to objectively report the political turmoil surrounding the decline in achievement test scores in Baltimore City public schools managed by Education Alternatives Inc., you have inadvertently masked the issues of genuine relevance to the parents and taxpayers, if not the politicians.

The perceived successes and failures of private management of public instruction are marginal at best, unless they directly impact attendance and achievement system-wide.

Take another look at the data. Attendance is up 3 percent since 1991. This is a truly significant achievement; it means there are 3,500 fewer children out of school or on the streets.

Compare this attendance improvement with data from Philadelphia and Washington and you'll be pleasantly surprised.

In a school system that has historically discouraged pupil attendance, particularly at the secondary level, this gain is remarkable.

Who do you think might deserve some credit for this, the City Council? Are you sure the "can of worms" you have editorialized about is at North Avenue?

Take another look at the data. District-wide total reading and mathematics scores have increased by 6 percent and 7 1/2 percent, respectively, since 1992.

Don't bother going out of state; compare this data with Baltimore County over the same time period. This is the data that the parents and taxpayers of Baltimore City need, at least as much as the reporting of local political rhetoric.

A few weeks ago, The Sun properly identified the Mayor Kurt Schmoke-Council President Mary Pat Clark feud as tending to paralyze effective municipal governance. You have let it interfere with the accuracy and objectivity of your reporting.

Some real gains have been made. Let's recognize them. Live up to your motto.

Robert T. Rinaldi

Baltimore

The writer is former assistant superintendent of Baltimore City schools.

Insensitive Remark

Regarding the article "Running the Gantlet" in the Today section Oct. 9, Louise Eberhardt says, "I have a lot of empathy for white men today. I think it's hard for them to adapt to all the changes in the workplace today."

She seems to be saying all white males are knuckle-dragging Neanderthals who need to be "trained." I, for one, do not fit into this convenient niche. I was raised to treat people with respect, all people.

Insensitivity toward people different from oneself is not the sole domain of any one group.

Perhaps Ms. Eberhardt and the people who conduct her seminars can keep this in mind when planning future sessions.

Eugene Gronberg

Baltimore

Safe Streets

I am tired of crime in Charles Village and tired of know-nothings and misguided media trying to run down the efforts of citizens who are working to do something about the problem.

The Sun suggests on Oct. 14 that "the main problem is municipal bureaucratic indifference." What planet do you live on? It's the crime, stupid!

Crime is a big problem in every city in this country. It cannot be blamed on municipal bureaucratic indifference.

Recently, a young woman was gunned down in a drive-by shooting just a few blocks south of my house. Why? She made the mistake of walking home.

A few nights later, an older gentleman was robbed at gunpoint on my block. Why? He made the mistake of going to the corner store.

Just the other day, I called 911 for a friend who was robbed at gunpoint. What was his mistake? He walked past the playground on a Sunday morning.

The Charles Village Benefits District is an effort by local citizens to get a handle on the problem.

No one believes that it will eliminate crime. But if it slows down the crime rate just a little, then it will be a bargain because fewer of us will be victims. Maybe this could be a neighborhood again instead of a war zone.

Do I suspect the editors of The Sun will change their minds? No. I suspect that they live in the county and have wired their homes with security systems.

I do not want to live in a neighborhood governed by household electronic security systems. I want to live in a neighborhood where the streets are safe enough to walk. That is why I'm voting for the Charles Village Benefits District.

Dick Cook

Baltimore

Retirement Age for Judges

Perhaps because it appears benign, there has been little media coverage of Ballot Question 3, a proposal to amend the Maryland Constitution to raise the retirement age for all state court judges from 70 to 75.

In reality, Question 3 is far from benign. It should be voted down because its passage would mark a huge step backward for quality and diversity in the Maryland judiciary.

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