EAI scoresAmid all the brouhaha about disappointing test...

the Forum

November 01, 1994

EAI scores

Amid all the brouhaha about disappointing test scores of students attending Education Alternatives Inc. schools in Baltimore, too little attention has been paid to improved test scores at the control-group schools.

Let's recognize the accomplishments at these schools and find out what is working. Maybe public school teachers are onto something.

Charlie Cooper

Baltimore

Big-league arts

Amid the gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands over Baltimore's not having a National Football League franchise and the baseball strike, perhaps we have lost sight of the fact that this is truly a major league city as far as the arts are concerned.

Within a short period of time, we have witnessed a burst of activity that is truly amazing.

Our own Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, featuring the world renowned Yo-Yo Ma, is touring the Far East, and the response, according to the critics, has been overwhelming.

The Baltimore Opera company has found it necessary to add additional performances to its schedule to accommodate the overwhelming demand for tickets. Anyone who saw the recent production of "Rigoletto" under the inspired leadership of Michael Harrison will attest to the artistry of this fine organization.

And who can say enough about the renaissance in the visual-arts field? One merely has to visit the dramatic New Wing for Modern Art at the Baltimore Museum of Art to fully appreciate the scope of this endeavor.

The Andy Warhol, Grace Hartigan and Jasper Johns works are truly breath-taking. And if this weren't enough, the Walters Art Gallery is about to open its new blockbuster Gauguin exhibit.

Yes, we in Baltimore have great reason to be proud. We are truly a major league city in every way.

Marjorie A. Goodman

Baltimore

Canadian visitor

For many weeks I have been talking about Baltimore in glowing terms. Remembering what my mother taught me a long time ago, that a bread-and-butter letter to the host is merely good manners, I've decided to express my gratitude to the city of Baltimore.

I spent September on sabbatical in Baltimore, doing independent research under the guidance of the respected researcher Joyce Epstein, co-director at the Center on Families, Communities, Schools and Children's Learning at the Johns Hopkins University.

Baltimoreans can be very proud of the outstanding work being accomplished by the staff at the center.

In between the hard, exciting work and visits to schools in the city and in Montgomery County, I had a chance to explore the sights: The Baltimore Museum of Art (three trips), the National Aquarium, the Maryland Science Museum, the B & O Museum, the Constellation, the Walters Art Gallery and the Inner Harbour were just some of the places that proved delightful.

Not being a baseball fan worked out fine, too.

There is delicious food served all over the city, and the weather was outstanding.

But the most lasting memory will be the warmth and many kindnesses I encountered from people wherever I went. People smile in Baltimore. I left reluctantly and with a most positive impression.

Dianne Keillor

Windsor, Ontario

Seasonal signs

The endless line of tasteless political placards along our tree-lined streets have created an ugly distraction from the lovely fall colors. Will the politicians and their minions be as active in cleaning up their blight as they have been in creating it?

Ah, yes. The familiar sight of crumpled, slowly decomposing signs strewn everywhere will signal the end to yet another "political season."

harlotte Boyle

Baltimore

Commissions no basis for selling homes

According to D. R. Grempler, president of Coldwell Banker Grempler Realty Inc., a home that is not selling might sell faster with a higher commission -- giving other agents an incentive to show it to more buyers -- than with a reduced sales price ("Commissions are too high, report says," Oct. 23).

It is just this kind of thinking that has kept commission rates inflated and supported the outrageous overhead of the consumer-indifferent real estate industry.

If, as Mr. Grempler implies, agents are using commission rates, rather than the needs of the buyer, as a criterion for choosing which houses to show buyers, they are failing in their responsibilities to their customers.

Passing up what could be the house that would be ideal for their buyer is a flagrant violation of the buyers' trust -- a trust that brokers and agents are obligated to honor.

In fact, by promoting the charging of higher commissions to facilitate the sale of houses, Mr. Grempler is indulging in very misleading double talk, since the actual effect is more likely to be just the opposite.

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