'Martha Stewart' of Sun wrong on computer edBecause I...


April 14, 1996

'Martha Stewart' of Sun wrong on computer ed

Because I consider myself a woman of the '90s, I have always looked to Susan Reimer as a role model and have enjoyed her perspective on raising husbands and children, while balancing an interesting career. Ms. Reimer is my "Martha Stewart."

However, I must take exception to her perspective on computers and schools. First of all, I am not a "technolust." But, I am lucky enough to work in a school that is a leader in technology, a school not unlike Logan Elementary.

From the very beginning I never thought that computers would make my job easier. When John Kennedy told America that we were going to the moon, he said we were "going because it was hard, not because it was easy."

Should we not prepare children to live in the information age because it makes our job harder? More than any other tool, computers have the ability and time to cater to and address different learning styles. They make educating students more relevant, more interesting, more independent and more personal, but not easier.

When I look around the computer modules in my school, I see teachers relating to students, students sharing with each other and excitement in the classroom. The basic skills are still there, but they are being conveyed in new and challenging ways. No student sits alone in our classrooms, being supervised by a computer. Students are learning through hands-on computer activities to master their basic "flash card skills." Computers are tools, just like flash cards. Would you prefer we trash our manipulative tools and give the kids individual slates and chalk?

I guess the reason Ms. Reimer's column bothered me the most was her shortsighted belief that the PTAs would be expected to raise the money for technology. She can't see the forest for the trees.

It's the big businesses, such as Bell Atlantic Corp., that have the best means to support education in the public schools. We need to encourage big business to support education. So when Bell Atlantic decided to make a difference at Logan Elementary, why did Ms. Reimer condemn it? Bell Atlantic should be commended for its efforts in supporting public education, and Ms. Reimer should visit more technology-versed schools. I think she would be pleasantly surprised. Ms. Reimer admittedly uses computers herself. By the year 2010, 50 percent of all the jobs that will need to be filled have not yet been invented and they will be technology-based. Shouldn't we be preparing our students for the future? Isn't that what school is all about? Ms. Reimer "just didn't get it," but I bet her children will.

Elaine Reichl


Welfare for the rich is courageous?

Your March 26 editorial, "Courage in Annapolis," because it was under the Carroll County heading, might lead people to believe that the majority of folks agree with the editor in giving praise to lawmakers who voted to fund the Baltimore football stadium. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Anyone with an ounce of common sense sees this stadium for TC what it is: welfare for the rich. What kind of jobs will be created by the stadium? Seasonal minimum wage, service jobs and temporary construction jobs. How does that benefit the city or the region in the long term? The city and state governments have not been business-friendly for years and that has resulted in sluggish revenues for the state. Gov. Parris N. Glendening should have been courting business and industry to come to Maryland and Baltimore City. Those in Annapolis who voted against funding for the stadium not only were voting the wishes of their constituents, but were voting in the best interests of Maryland as a whole. I've often wondered during this whole debate, when did government start obligating itself to fund professional sports arenas? If professional sports are so

profitable, why do the owners feel the need to get handouts from government?

If Art Modell's football team was so great and such a great economic benefit to a city, why is Cleveland in such dire straits? What are the odds that the same thing will happen to Baltimore? Your editorial reflects the opinion of most in the media that this stadium is a great deal. And your paper will, I'm sure, have a special skybox, just as you do at Camden Yards, while the rest of us are priced out of affording tickets.

Whatever happened to priorities? With a state budget in decline, all manner of services are being cut. Libraries -- one of the few places a poor kid can go and learn something -- are cutting hours and services. School systems all over the state are in need of additional funds. We have lawmakers who wheel and deal and give in to the powerful stadium supporters, instead of voting the opinion of their constituents. It should be "kudos to lawmakers who stood up to the governor and his crew," those who represent the average Marylander and not welfare for the rich.

Patricia Holbert


Good riddance, Sullam? Reader doesn't think so

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