Partnership between Pratt, local schools is needed for 0...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 01, 1998

Partnership between Pratt, local schools is needed for 0) libraries

Congratulations on your editorial decrying the condition of the libraries in our public schools ("Empty library shelves are an embarrassment," June 15). There are millions for stadiums and hotels while libraries must go begging for less than half a million ,, to provide educational facilities.

The Sun's effort to keep Reading by Nine in the public eye is commendable. What about "After Nine," the age when the availability of the accumulated wisdom of those first years becomes increasingly important?

Visit the Roland Park branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library when school is in session. You will see dozens of children working in the library. Because the library of the Roland Park public school is virtually empty of books and personnel, the children come to the nearby branch of the Pratt.

To the shock and horror of everyone in our area, the Pratt's administration has discussed the possibility of closing the Roland Park branch (and others) in favor of four "satellite" facilities. Where will the local school children go then?

I propose that the Pratt form partnerships with local schools to improve those libraries. For the school system and for the library system to say "we can't do that" is unacceptable. We desperately need a literate and educated population. Let the mayor make good on calling Baltimore "The City That Reads."

Eileen Higham

Baltimore

Teachers like Gary Levin inspire their students

I applaud The Sun for its commitment to improving education with comprehensive coverage of trends and successes and with human interest stories about local schools. But it was from a personal stance that I read "School's out for teacher after 32 years" (June 21). You see, Gary Levin was my seventh-grade creative-writing teacher.

The sentiments he expressed as he reflected on his teaching career held special meaning for my coming of age. In the chaotic unreality of an adolescent's journey through seventh-grade, Mr. Levin's writing class was an oasis of sanity, mutual respect and academic stimulation.

His energy, competence and dedication had a rousing effect on our group of emerging teens. We came alive, learned to write and (some of us) learned to love it. I was one of the lucky students inspired by Mr. Levin.

Today, I share his concerns about our schools. I relate to his skepticism about teaching trends based on "what research reveals." His humorous recollections tell of a career woven as a tapestry of relationships, not one of merely dispensing information. He remained true to his beliefs about what makes a good teacher and influenced my career choice.

We can change the world, one student at a time, as long as there are teachers who inspire. I write this as a teacher who was once a student of one of the best.

Terry Greenberg

Manchester

Strong training for teachers in Baltimore Co. program

During the week of June 15-19, I had the opportunity to assist in the training provided to 125 exceptionally motivated and highly qualified teachers who are mentors to new teachers in the Baltimore County public schools' new teacher mentor program.

I believe this program is among the finest teacher mentoring programs in the United States. It is strong because of dynamic leadership and a cadre of mentors who are teacher leaders in their own right.

It is also remarkable because the clearly articulated goal of the program is to improve student achievement. Many other mentoring programs fall short of this goal by providing support and encouragement to beginning teachers without regard to student learning.

The citizens of Baltimore County should take pride in this high-quality program that assists new teachers to excel in their work, thereby assuring the best possible education for students.

Tom Gasner

Whitewater, Wis.

The writer is director of field experiences at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Facts missing in criticism of judge's treatment in court

I continue to be troubled by your editorial "Is a judge a citizen, too?" (June 10).

You criticized District Judge Vincent A. Mulieri for treating another judge, who appeared before him as a criminal defendant, more harshly than he would have treated a defendant who was not a judge just to avoid the appearance of favoritism.

You conclude that Judge Mulieri rejected the recommendation of the state's attorney to inactivate the criminal charges against the defendant-judge because Judge Mulieri was afraid he would appear to be favoring a fellow judge.

You jump to a lot of conclusions without a lot of information.

The state presented two cases of the same type that day. One defendant was a judge; one was not. Perhaps Judge Mulieri was concerned that the other defendant in court that day on similar but less serious charges might wonder why he was not offered the same leniency as the judge-defendant was offered.

Judges can only grant that leniency when the state suggests it, and the state did not suggest it in the other, less serious case that day.

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