Community colleges not top-heavy schools, offer a good...

Letters to the Editor

March 23, 1998

Community colleges not top-heavy schools, offer a good deal

I am responding to the March 15 cartoon depicting college expenses supporting large administrations. I will defer to my four-year and university colleagues to defend their institutions, but for community colleges, cartoonist Mike Lane is quite mistaken.

While enrolling more than 50 percent of Maryland college students, our cost per student is significantly lower than those of other higher education institutions. With a much smaller funding base, community colleges strain to offer students a learning environment that is technologically current.

From my experience, we spend very little on administration. Our commitment to teaching is always first and foremost. If Mr. Lane doubts these statements, he should become more informed.

Wallace C. Knapp

Catonsville

The writer is director of information technology services at Catonsville Community College.

Secular approach best for India's growth

Kudos to The Sun for the prominent editorial March 13 on India's elections and its implications for the world community ("India's boiling political pot").

You are accurate in your assessment that the results lead to a period of political uncertainty, India must continue its economic reforms, India "needs to push ahead and not retreat into politics of myopia and bigotry" and Sonia Gandhi "offers the best hope" for the Congress Party to reclaim credibility and power.

You should also have said the economic and social agenda Mrs. Ghandi brought up during her electrifying campaign remains the best hope for secular India.

For India to move into the next millennium as a strong democracy and a secular nation, it must also continue strive to become globally competitive.

India is the world's largest democracy, while the United States remains the world's most powerful democracy.

Trade and investment between the two nations remains small, but the potential for growth is significant. Even if one-fifth of India's population has significant buying power, those 200 million people will represent the largest market in the free world.

It is in our mutual interest to forge stronger ties with India.

Pradeep Ganguly

Rockville

Baltimore's poor areas need gated housing

I'm responding to the March 15 article about middle-class fear of crime and the reasonable steps people are taking to protect themselves, such as moving into gated neighborhoods ("Home, safe home").

But forget for a moment the natural fear of more affluent citizens who want to protect themselves from crime. What about the masses of decent poor people who live in neighborhoods that can only be described as war zones? It is hard to imagine the demoralization and fear of daily living in such neighborhoods.

Why not consider gated communities for the poor in Baltimore? Create communities large enough to support their own shopping areas and small schools. Enforce strict standards of behavior for residents.

Perhaps the citizens within could begin to feel a sense of order and safety that is necessary for human beings to develop and lead normal lives.

Mark Borinsky

Sparks

Teach peaceful course in families and faiths

Colman McCarthy's March 15 Perspective article, "Peaceful conflict resolution teachable," describes an approach that is doable.

Unfortunately, the adult population that needs to understand the concepts and principles of conflict resolution are not reading this informative article in The Sun.

If families practiced nonviolent methods of settling arguments, imagine the powerful lessons that their children would learn.

Houses of worship need to conduct workshops to teach the nine steps to conflict resolution. Public and private schools need to implement this program into their curriculums as early as kindergarten. Just maybe the cycle of violence will subside.

Paula Baziz

Pikesville

Arts and education play second fiddle to sports

All-county and all-state high school sports teams are always covered by The Sun. You print photographs and short descriptions of the students' accomplishments in their sports.

To my knowledge, The Sun did not cover the all-county and all-state bands, orchestras or choruses. These students are talented and work very hard at their music.

The Sun is just like the rest of America: sports, sports, sports. Education, music and art take a back seat.

This suggests to students that sports are more important than getting straight A's or making the all-county band. Is this the message you want to send?

J. Allen

Baltimore

Freedom of religious expression is protected

The "puzzle" about prayers in the General Assembly vs. separation of church and state is solved by reading the First Amendment. It reads, in part, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech."

The first part of the amendment is what is commonly referred to as the "separation of church and state." The second part, as "free speech."

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