Lead, not DealI have to assume that Messrs. Germond and...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

June 27, 1995

Lead, not Deal

I have to assume that Messrs. Germond and Witcover are not bridge players. They say (May 27): "But Clinton is by no means dealing from strength." One does not deal from strength.

In an honest game, one does not know what is being dealt -- strength or weakness.

One may, however, lead from strength, which is what we wish Clinton would do.

Carol Chesney Meyers

Towson

Higher Education

Your negative editorial observations (June 11) on Gov. Parris N. Glendening's nomination for secretary of higher education is a masterpiece of false inference.

You accused the governor of political insensitivity for this nomination to those legislators who hold a grudge against Patricia S. Florestano for her work on behalf of her former University of Maryland boss, John Toll.

When a person works for the chief executive, I always thought he or she was supposed to be loyal and carry out directions or resign.

If Dr. Florestano had not carried out her professional responsibility to Dr. Toll, she would have been disloyal and not trustworthy, and this would have warranted your negative editorial.

Anyone involved with public policy and the legislative process can never please all of the disparate factions. Dr. Florestano did her job as set forth by her boss, Dr. Toll.

I believe her experience with Maryland's higher education coordination problems and her understanding of the opportunities to advance higher education to promote the University of Maryland System members' goal for academic and research excellence in cooperation with the state's great private higher education colleges and universities and the community college system are a major plus for her appointment.

Your plea for an "outsider" to fill the position is nonsense. On what factual basis do you conclude that no professionals associated with Maryland's higher education community would know how to address the academic balances within the state's higher education system?

It would take two years before someone from outside Maryland gained the knowledge and understanding of the different missions to suggest policy change and work effectively with the governor and the General Assembly.

Maryland's higher education system can improve its efficiency by increased cooperation and quicker resolution of challenging conflicts through leadership.

The governor correctly sensed an opportunity to lower the bureaucratic rhetoric while maintaining the integrity of MHEC's mission, which is to ensure an academic balance and to challenge academic redundancy throughout Maryland's higher education institutions.

Dr. Florestano knows the academic mission and goals of the diverse institutions comprising Maryland's higher education community. With her personal integrity and professionalism to her mission, she can become an excellent secretary.

Edwin S. Crawford

Towson

The writer is a member of the University of Maryland Board of Regents.

Can't All Be Wrong

As a Baltimore County teacher, I feel compelled to respond to the June 15 article by Mary Maushard, "School chief tires of Balto. Co. battles."

Supportive (as always), she called the programs of Stuart Berger "innovative." My Random House dictionary defines innovative as, "something new or different introduced."

When Dr. Berger started our breakfast program we were the only system in Maryland that wasn't serving breakfast. Pretty innovative, right?

All-day kindergarten was what was going on in Baltimore City when I was in kindergarten in 1958. Innovative?

Magnet schools? How long have they existed in Prince Georges County? As for site-based decision making, we were at that cutting edge in the 1800s.

The only thing new Dr. Berger brought to Baltimore County is "fright-based decision making," a school system based on administrators playing follow-the-leader (no matter how misguided) to keep their jobs. Perhaps when he leaves we'll go back to caring about children.

The only truth in the article came from Dr. Berger himself, when he talked about the difference between Wichita and Baltimore County. In Wichita, he had supporters and detractors. He admitted that in Baltimore County he has only detractors. Are we all wrong?

Ken Shapiro

Baltimore

Thanks

When we complain, we let you know. It's only fair to also comment on what we appreciate and find useful.

Investigative reporting, such as your recent "Battalion 316" series (June 11-18); information gathering on vital issues such as the Educational Alternatives Inc. contracts; the Intrepid Commuter column has focused attention on traffic issues and trouble spots, often resulting in solutions. Everyone spends a lot of time in vehicles. We always scan this column.

Also continuing coverage by Bruce Reid of the Aberdeen Proving Ground cleanup proposals. We wonder if this coverage has provided the necessary influence to buy time in which the Army was forced to look more seriously at alternative disposal methods, one of which appears more acceptable than incineration.

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