TCAH: Teachers alone don't select special ed pupils The...


March 10, 1997

TCAH: Teachers alone don't select special ed pupils The March 1 editorial, ''Too many special ed students''(which concerned city schools), numbed my special education heart. I am incredulous that information was provided that is certain to mislead those unfamiliar with the special education process.

Teachers do not ''recommend special education.'' Teachers may refer students who are experiencing academic difficulty in the classroom or who are chronically disruptive to a Pupil Services Team. This is a group of school professionals who will recommend and guide teachers through specific strategies and interventions to help the student.

If, after a period of time and documented attempts, the student does not respond, he may be referred to an Admission Review Dismissal Team at the school. An assessment plan is developed to determine strengths and needs. A determination, based on all results and reports, is then made about a disability.

If there is an educational disability, an Individualized Education Plan is developed that outlines not only specific goals for that student, but modifications, accommodations and supports necessary to assure his success in the classroom where those goals can be met.

Expectations in special education are not low. When an IEP is properly implemented, goals are realistic and challenging for students. To report that these students, because of the academic supports they need, cannot be ''productive citizens when they do leave school'' is an insult to students, their parents and to the teachers who have dedicated their careers to making sure they do.

Rosalie E. Daddura


The writer is chair of the special education department at Parkville High School in the Baltimore County system.

City Life Museums are worth saving

Where can you go to see the history of Baltimore? At the City Life Museums, but maybe not for long. They could close if they can't match funds Mayor Kurt Schmoke has promised.

The City Life Museums haven't been doing too well financially. They need more private funding support and more advertising to promote them and make more people want to visit.

The main reason why these buildings should stay open is because they preserve local traditions and heritage. The history and growth of Baltimore itself, its technology and its heritage and traditions are shown by the many landmarks and relics in the museums.

As a seventh-grade student at Dumbarton Middle School, I found during a recent visit with my father that the museums have a wealth of educational, as well as interesting and entertaining, material.

My father was able to recall many things from his childhood, as many adults who visit will also be able to do. Children can see just what their parents went through during their childhoods.

Matthew R. Venanzi


Horses go where the purses are

Jon Morgan's column March 1 was well-written, informative and, more importantly, correct. He did his homework and actually compared apples to apples.

I am referring to the comparison between the actual purses offered by Maryland and Delaware for specific condition or claiming races. Stakes races may promote more interest but over-nighters are the life-blood of the horse racing industry.

The thousands of jobs, working farms, businesses and suppliers that depend on racing are supported by those who race daily, and those who race daily are dependent on the purses.

I would like to see the same type of article on harness racing. Rosecroft is currently offering $37,000 two nights a week, while Dover is offering $100,000 five days a week.

My husband and I are racing a horse in Northfield, Ohio, that is paying the way of a horse now racing at Rosecroft and another coming back from a layoff. We would much rather watch our horse in Ohio race live in our home state, but the purses pay the bills and dictate where we race.

Legislators debate our position and study the issue while more and more horses leave our state.

Ursula Ayd


Policy puts police in the middle

Two police officers are shot on a Saturday night. They kill the man they had scuffled with. The neighborhood reacts angrily toward the police.

This happened the day after Sgt. Stephen R. Pagotto's sentence to three years in prison; a sentence no first-time offender ever received during my career with the Police Department.

Are the two events related? Yes.

Lawlessness in Baltimore has been re-affirmed by city officials looking for a sacrifice and a judicial system pandering to the public for votes.

Well done, city fathers. You have created your own hell.

James M. Shelley


Episcopal priest set good example

What an absolutely beautiful tribute written by Fred Rasmussen (obituary, Feb. 28) to all the priestly works and interests of the late Rev. Tomlin P. Crowder, rector of St. Paul the Apostle Episcopal Church in Pigtown.

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