It's time for Stuart Berger to move onRegarding your...


June 21, 1995

It's time for Stuart Berger to move on

Regarding your article "School chief tires of Balto. Co. battles," (June 15), Superintendent Stuart Berger is right: He is .. an agent of change, but he is certainly not a leader.

Berger came to Baltimore County full of himself and certain that he could bend the school system in any direction he chose.

I am sure he felt he had the backing of the School Board. I am also sure he had no conception of the degree of support and concern for the public schools held by the majority of the county's citizens.

While generally held in high regard, the system Berger came to was not perfect. It had been slow to recognize the changing nature of its citizenry in age, racial makeup and economic strength.

Its methods of recognizing and promoting superior personnel needed restructuring, and the quality of individual schools was uneven.

The system needed change, but it also needed leadership, something Stuart Berger has shown he is unable to provide.

His idea of how to create change is to dictate, threaten, coerce, stonewall and belittle.

Sitting in the safety and isolation of the Greenwood mansion, he leads by edicts issued in an imperious manner which create fear, disorder, insecurity and confusion.

He refuses to cooperate in any way with the county executive or the County Council, creating anger, suspicion and hostility among the fiscal authorities upon whom the financing of education depends. The result this year was the largest cut in the education budget in years.

His mishandling of inclusion resulted in massive protests by parents. His initiation of the "administrative transfer" has created hostility in several communities and massive defection from the school system by many able and experienced teachers.

His magnet school program has created major funding imbalances among schools, with some schools having money for almost any need while others seemingly are ignored like unwanted step-children.

Berger commented that as soon as he leaves, the system will return to the status quo.

Here is a man who believes he has no possibility of achieving his objectives. Why should he stay another year?

The money is there to buy out his contract. It would be money well spent.

However, if Stuart Berger were interested in anything other than his own massive ego, he would admit to failure, ask to be relieved of his contractual obligation and move on.

David M. Clements


Lancers a great club

I compliment you on the wonderful article (June 7) about Judge Robert I. H. Hammerman and his involvement with the Lancers Boys Club. My son Justin just completed a marvelous four years experience with the Lancers.

The purpose of this letter, though, is to invite every parent throughout Baltimore with boys of high school age to offer this wonderful experience to their sons.

What other program offers an opportunity to meet such a variety of speakers as Supreme Court Justices Harry Blackmun and Sandra Day O'Connor, Oliver North, Michael Dukakis, Julius Irving and Digger Phelps, plus an opportunity to partake in a myriad of community activities ranging from tutoring middle school students to working with physically challenged children and -- at no cost -- attending Broadway shows from "Tommy" to "Les Miserables," Bullets games and trips to Kings Dominion.

Lancers is an experience available to any high school boy in the area. To join, simply show up in September for one of their bi-monthly Friday night meetings that will be held this year at the Friends School.

To parents of high school boys, the Lancers program is certainly an opportunity not to be missed.

Charles Shubow

Owings Mills

Smoke screen

A recent article revealed the amount of money the tobacco industry spent on lobbying state legislators this year ("Lobbyists swarm to gambling," June 4).

Let's take a look at what $400,000 can buy.

In the battle over clean indoor air, the industry successfully robbed waiters, waitresses and other hospitality workers of protection from secondhand smoke.

It appears that restaurant and bar employees do not deserve a safer workplace even though they must work around smoke all day and face higher risks of cancer as a result. How is this for a bonus?

The tobacco industry also convinced legislators to defeat a bill which would have made it harder for merchants to sell tobacco to children. The industry says it does not want kids to smoke, but you will never see it support a law to prevent tobacco use by youths.

Merchants can still sell tobacco to your kids through vending machines without fear of punishment. So much for the industry and legislators showing concern for children.

Not only did the tobacco industry pay numerous lobbyists this year, it also "sponsored" front groups.

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