MSPAP awards prove program's a waste of timeRe: Article...

Letters

July 07, 1996

MSPAP awards prove program's a waste of time

Re: Article headlined "Reward 'improving' schools," The Sun, June 28, by Jay Apperson.

Has anybody realized changing the wording regarding the allotment of the School Performance Recognition Awards makes the whole program a complete waste of time and money on all fronts? It is a waste because the $50,000 cash awards are to go to the schools which are most improved -- and more affluent schools aren't to gain.

That makes sense to me, but why waste all the time and money on an adjunct program which has taken more than three years to come to fruition and cost millions of dollars when the mechanics were already in place to gather the information?

Grade improvement, attendance improvement and involvement in community service could have been covered by the existing structure, prior to the implementation of the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program. All the kids, teachers, parents and administrators have done nothing but waste their time in encouraging and cooperating in something which was based on competition, but for which they are now being told, "Sorry, you're affluent, so even if you won the race or did improve greatly, somebody else is getting the prize."

When I think of the money which could have been used to replace antiquated textbooks, make badly needed repairs or hire more teachers, it makes me cringe. But then I don't consider the bigger loss, which is the children losing time from studies and the lost service of teachers who have had to administer the program.

There was a lot of contention at the initiation of this program and it has become even more evident why. This was, and is, a complete waste of tax revenues.

Shame on the State Board of Education and the comptroller's office for allowing this feckless program to have robbed our children.

Dave Rohde

Severna Park

AIDS ride merited greater coverage

I was very sorry to see that The Sun did not cover the Philadelphia-DC Aids Ride which passed through the metropolitan area last month (Harford, Carroll, Baltimore, Howard and Montgomery counties). The riders included many people from Baltimore city and the Baltimore metropolitan area, including many Sun subscribers like me. My 17-year-old daughter and her friend did the ride with me and almost 2,000 other people.

The ride raised $4.5 million for agencies that provide direct services to people living with AIDS. We devoted our lives to this project since the first of March, both training and fund-raising. We raised more than $16,000, the largest part of which was from the legal community in the metropolitan area. This was a life-altering experience for both me and the two teen-agers with me. We were sorry that The Sun did not find it to be newsworthy.

Paula J. Peters

Annapolis

Another view on Heritage Harbour

In response to M. G. Johancen's letter in The Sun for Anne Arundel (June 23) concerning the intention by U.S. Homes, developer of Heritage Harbour, to build 70 semi-detached houses on a parcel that was designated "open space/recreation area":

The writer's comments are not shared by the majority of the residents of Heritage Harbour. This parcel of land (28.5 acres) is a very small portion of the total 865 acres which comprise Heritage Harbour. It is a wooded area which has been designated as "open space/recreation area" for the past 15 years. During that time, none of the residents have availed themselves of this land for recreation or any other purposes.

A short distance from this parcel are two other areas (totaling 65 acres), also designated as "open space/recreation," which the residents have also chosen not to use as such.

If the developer does build the 70 houses, it would result in the Heritage Harbour community receiving $68,040 each year in fees from the buyers of these houses. This is money the residents could surely use in the maintenance of their many amenities.

A. Grahn

Annapolis

Crabbing trip belies bay pessimism

Our first crabbing trip of the year: We went to our normal spot on the Eastern Shore and to my surprise, the crabs were very plentiful. I'm not sure what all the fuss is from the watermen but there are plenty of crabs out there.

Although being the middle of June and crabbing really doesn't get started until July, the fact remains there are a lot of crabs. I know we must have caught four to five bushels of undersized crabs. We put the crabs in the boat and when the run was over, we put the crabs back in the water away from our lines. I know we are going to have a good harvest this year by the amount of small crabs we had on our lines.

So this is just a note to the state of Maryland that whatever restrictions they put on crabbing are working. I had my two boys with me, ages 3 and 6, and it would be a shame if one day they say to me, "Let's go crabbing" and I have to tell them we can't because there are no crabs out there to catch.

Scott Garber

Glen Burnie

Charen not one for restraint herself

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