Is this how we prepare kids for MSPAP?I am writing in...

LETTERS

December 24, 1997

Is this how we prepare kids for MSPAP?

I am writing in regard to your article, "Students working lunch." The students began lunch with instructions regarding the relationship between a cup and a saucer. The students were asked by the teacher: ''What does the cup do for the saucer?'' Then the teacher supplied the answer: ''It supports it."

Analogies are used on the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program to test students' ability to reason and discern relationships between items. In this case, the students were given an illogical answer and led to believe that the answer demonstrated a true and logical relationship. What these students learned was to parrot an answer because the teacher said it was correct, but they did not learn to think and reason on their own.

While I commend the teachers for attempting a novel way to gain students' attention and to emphasize the importance of the test, it was discouraging to read that the session began with the instructor giving incorrect information. It was also disappointing to realize that both of your reporters readily accepted the faulty reasoning of the instructor without question. I wonder how well they would fare on the MSPAP.

Sandra Evering

Baltimore

Singing the praises of Morgan State choir

I had the pleasure of attending the 27th annual Christmas concert of the Morgan State University Choir at Morgan State University. The experience was uplifting. The quality of the voices, the enthusiasm of the participants and the feeling that was shown in this music was an experience to behold, something I don't think I have seen from any choir throughout my years.

For a group this special I was surprised to see no press coverage. The hall looks tired, but I have been informed that Morgan State will build a new auditorium that will further enhance the quality of this wonderful group.

There is no question in my mind that the Morgan State Choir is a special treasure of which the state of Maryland can be proud.

Alan H. Peck

Baltimore

Still loves Lucy, but Ellen's talented, too

I feel compelled to respond to Tondra Johns' letter in the Dec. 5 Sun. I, like Ms. Johns, stopped to read the Dec. 1 letters section when I noticed a picture of Lucille Ball, one of my all-time favorite famous people.

At that time, I shrugged off the comparison of Ellen DeGeneres' comedy to the routines and antics of Ms. Ball in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was when Ms. Johns proceeded to condemn the original writer by comparing Ms. DeGeneres' style of humor to the "G-rated and never controversial" style of Lucy, that sparked my interest in writing.

I beg to differ on the latter point. Ms. Ball's antics were crock full of controversy in the conservative late 1950s, with these examples: a woman wearing pants on screen, a woman ridiculing her husband in public, a woman being pregnant on screen. And think of her later roles in the early 1960s (after her controversial divorce from Desi), where she is a single parent raising two children.

Let's put this all in perspective. What was controversial 30 years ago seems quite G-rated today, and what is controversial today will be old news in 30 years. Let's face it -- both of these women should be considered talented comediennes.

Donna Flagg

Cambridge

Kane not biased; ought to be a judge

Give special recognition to Gregory Kane for his comments on the Latrell Sprewell incident (Dec. 13, "Two worlds: Sprewell's and the one of reality").

I always find Mr. Kane's comments to be correct and properly documented. He tells you the way it is. The subject or the person is secondary to the issues.

His writing is easy to understand and does not contain a "fog index."

Nicholas Buonaugurio

Aberdeen

Wonderland, only in my dreams

White Christmas.

I'd much rather dream of a White Christmas than experience one.

George W. Frey Jr.

Ellicott City

Pub Date: 12/24/97

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