City education mess depicted in cartoonWhile "City Hall...


December 09, 1997

City education mess depicted in cartoon

While "City Hall" richly deserves KAL's Nov. 23 editorial cartoon, we should not forget what "City Hall" represents in a democracy.

If I had the skill for drawing, I would compose a cartoon of several panels: parents lecturing children about the importance of taking responsibility; principals assuring children that school is important; teachers explaining to students that our government is of and by, as well as for, the people; business representatives expounding on investments in the future; citizens (and their newspaper) proclaiming the commitment of this society to quality education for all; politicians making promises to fulfill that commitment.

In the background of each panel there would be a crumbling school that grows progressively worse. A final panel would show the school reduced to rubble and parents, principals, teachers, assorted other educators, employers, journalists and sundry citizens engaged in a finger-pointing, jargon-throwing, quick-fixing melee (from which many are trying to flee), while their young look on with a mixture of dismay, derision and contempt.

Jo Ann O. Robinson


Auditory learners can succeed with tapes

I am a 51-year-old dyslexic, social worker and University of Pennsylvania graduate with a significant reading retention problem. I learned to read in the 1950s because the nuns taught phonics!

I am enormously grateful to you for your series of articles on reading and the critical issues they raised about the need to teach phonics to all children. Children with dyslexia/learning disabilities have a neurologically based difficulty processing the printed word, which is frequently inherited.

However, it needs to be emphasized that many people with reading disabilities have significant reading retention problems. While we may be able to read with varying degrees of success, we are not neurologically able to retain and process what we read, regardless of how hard we try or how old we are. We are auditory learners and it is essential that we hear in order to learn.

There are three outstanding programs available to people with diagnosed reading disabilities: the Maryland Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, 410-333-2668; Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic, 1-800-221-4792, and the Maryland Rehabilitative Technology Center 410-554-9211.

While the programs began as services to the blind and physically handicapped, they now recognize that people with reading disabilities are, in fact, word blind and are eligible for their services, particularly books on tape and technology. Learning is made easier by listening to the extensive collection of general information and academic books available on tape.

The Maryland Rehabilitative Technology Center can provide information on computer technology that can voice-synthesize the printed word.

This can be very helpful to auditory learners and people with reading disabilities.

Betty Pike

Ellicott City

Glendening playing division politics

I read Barry Rascovar's Nov. 16 column, " 'Montgomery tilt' won't fly in Maryland," in which he criticized Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan for trying to build a coalition of counties that could influence the legislature.

Mr. Rascovar suggested that Mr. Duncan's premise is built upon an " 'us-against-them' struggle in which Baltimore is portrayed as the Evil Empire.'' Mr. Rascovar's answer is to build a super-regional coalition involving the ''Big Seven subdivisions and the fast-growing exurban counties,'' with Baltimore as the center of this universe.

Mr. Rascovar loyally promotes Baltimore's Harborplace, Walters Art Gallery and Mechanic Theater, as well as its universities, suggesting Montgomery County has ''no core."

My question to Mr. Rascovar is this: Am I less a Marylander when I attend the Kennedy Center and the National Gallery of Art?

I think any form of regionalism is wrong and I would not chastise either Barry Rascovar or Doug Duncan.

The person who deserves the criticism is the current governor, Parris Glendening, who is using an ''us-against-them'' philosophy by attempting to parcel out state money from the legislature to ensure his re-election. He is creating division among our counties.

We are all citizens of Maryland regardless of where we live, where we shop, where we worship, what theaters we attend and what political party we support.

What is important is that we stick together to identify problems and seek solutions for all jurisdictions, whether the location is Baltimore or Montgomery County.

Raymond F. Schoenke Jr.


Standing in front of a moving train

As an former victim of domestic violence, and also having had my sister murdered by her husband, I feel I've earned the right to speak out.

What Judge James Dudley is saying is: "Ladies, get out after the first act of violence. Don't wait until he kills you. And it never stops at a one-time thing."

Yes, it's hard to go to a shelter to ask for help from welfare. But, you'll be safe. You would not stand in front of a moving train, would you?

Betty Ree Utz


Pub Date: 12/09/97

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