Education board members missing the pointThe comments in...

Letters

November 01, 1998

Education board members missing the point

The comments in The Sun (Oct. 21) attributed to Anne Arundel County school board members Paul Rudolph and Vaughn Brown make the county school system appear backward and unprofessional.

Mr. Rudolph asserts that the gifted and talented program cut by the board "addresses too small a group of students for the price." He refers to the fact that 3,000 out of 15,006 students participated last year. What he fails to note is that the program is available for all students who choose to take advantage of it.

Using his logic, we should abandon school media centers, sports, music and art programs, breakfast and lunch subsidy programs, school counselors, reading resources, etc., because they touch relatively few in the course of a year. And, of course, special education should be eliminated because of its relatively small numbers.

If Mr. Rudolph's first priority is to play numbers games, he should look at the high proportion of overhead staff at the board. Has he bothered to apply a financial model to calculate the return on investment of the gifted program, or analyzed the dollar cost of not offering it?

Mr. Brown calls the program a "low priority." That support for those wishing to develop special talents is at the bottom of this board's list, no matter how small the number, causes me great parental concern.

What should be of higher priority in a school system than supporting excellence and achievement? Instead of punishing those students who make positive choices to participate in the program by removing it, why not figure out ways to get other students to model their behavior after these students?

I would suggest that serious institutions carry programs such as this because failure to do so betrays a crisis of educational integrity. It also represents our county as anti-intellectual, and in the control of bureaucrats instead of educators. Perhaps we should involve former student participants in the program to figure out creative ways to save it. Just think what we could probably learn from those kids.

Donna L. Smith

Arnold

Jimeno responds on Mountain Road

I feel compelled to respond to Marcia R. Conrad's letter to the editor Oct. 25 ("Dangerous road spurs voter's change of heart"), regarding her support for my opponent in the upcoming election although my opponent has never offered a solution for Mountain Road or any Pasadena concern. Ms. Conrad's support seems to stem from frustration in dealing with congestion on Mountain Road and the location of the proposed senior center at Mountain Road and Route 100.

Ms. Conrad's letter provides a perfect opportunity for clarification of these issues. First and foremost, all of the areas elected officials advocated a senior center for Pasadena. However, county councilman Thomas W. Redmond Sr. and County Executive John G. Gary, my opponent's strongest supporters and financial backers, are responsible for locating the facility at that site. Mr. Redmond, Mr. Gary and my opponent also support policies and zoning changes which I believe would spur additional growth and congestion in the Pasadena community. It is also important to point out that the elected officials from the 31st Legislative District fought for a way to deal with the congestion on Mountain Road, but Mr. Redmond and Mr. Gary have delayed action for more than three years.

Finally, a consensus was reached between state and county officials on a short-term solution for the traffic congestion. Construction of reversible lanes on Mountain Road will begin in February and will be completed next spring. The state legislators have also proposed the Magothy River Greenway, which will save Loopers Field.

It will preserve and protect from development hundreds of acres of land on the peninsula.

Mrs. Conrad states that no politician cares about congestion on Mountain Road. My record clearly reflects a commitment to addressing capacity problems and to limiting growth in the Pasadena community.

My business is located on Mountain Road and I, too, travel it daily.

I have dealt wih Ms. Conrad on many issues and know that she is a thoughtful and concerned citizen. I only hope that on Election Day, she will not choose the candidate who will continue to promote growth, but will instead choose the candidate who is making an honest effort to find a real solution.

Sen. Philip C. Jimeno

Lynnbrook

The writer represents the 31st Legislative District.

Delegate candidate clarifies position

I believe educated voters are essential to the success of the democratic process. That is why I would like to clarify information in the Oct. 20 article, "District 33 hopefuls stake out positions."

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