Maybe the tests, not our children, are the ones that are...

LETTERS

February 13, 2000

Maybe the tests, not our children, are the ones that are failing

Do you realize the word fail or its derivative was used 12 times in last weeks news stories and editorial about education?

Can you imagine at the age of 8 being told that you are a failure?

The children in this state are not failures. The Maryland State Board of Education, however, has failed our children.

Its time parents and taxpayers get involved and understand how one test is consuming education. An 8-year-old takes this 15 hour test for five days. Isnt it time parents saw exactly what the children must do in this test?

Now we have new tests for graduation and they are costing the taxpayers $20 million. Could we use that money for something else? I certainly think so.

Every PTA should have a committee to discuss the testing and give feedback to the state. Taxpayers should write to the governor to give their opinions.

There are tests that exist that we can use to determine academic achievement. Why are we spending so much time and so much money with so little being accomplished by these tests?

Since weve only heard about how the children in the state are failing for the last ten years, we should be able to conclude that none of the students currently graduating got scholarships, none went to college, and all are destined for low income jobs. How ludicrous! Of course that isnt the situation.

These tests are failing our children, and its time parents got involved. Its time we ask the State Board of Education to be accountable instead of telling us that our children are failing.

Pat Howell

Columbia

Thanks for coverage of the Americas Cup

We just want to thank you for the terrific coverage of the Americas Cup races provided by Bruce Stannard. We have lived in and traveled frequently to New Zealand, and have developed a love of sailing and of sailboat racing. On our way back from our most recent trip, we had stopovers in both Los Angeles and Denver. We eagerly bought papers in both places to get the latest coverage of the Louis Vuitton races, but there was none, with the exception of a small, canned wire service paragraph in the Los Angeles Times. What a luxury to come home and have such detailed and knowledgeable daily descriptions of the races.

On another note, we really miss Steven Wiglers music criticism. Good criticism educates as well as evaluates, and Mr. Wigler is superb in both capacities.

If your readers are willing to forgive the breach of conduct, shouldnt you be?

Katy Benjamin

Gordon Smith

Ellicott City

Ask the candidates about Clinton pardons

Everyone seems to be speculating on the kind of Supreme Court justices that might be appointed by the next president, and the candidates for the presidency, both Republican and Democrats, have been asked numerous questions about this. In addition, the candidates have been asked questions about taxes, health care, Social Security and many other issues. They have even been asked stupid questions like, Who is your favorite philosopher?

While were at it, I think that there is an important question to be asked Would you pardon Bill Clinton or Hillary Clinton or both of them for the acts alleged crimes they committed while President Clinton was serving as President, and Hillary Clinton was first lady?

Donald B. W. Messenger

Laurel

Mismanagement is behind funding crunch

Your article Community services face funding crunch (Feb. 6) on the Columbia Associations facilities that are losing money made me wonder just where the money is being spent.

In particular, your table shows the Lake Elkhorn Pavilion as having lost $74,000 this year. This pavilion is nothing more than a roof, about 20 picnic tables, two bathrooms and a drinking fountain. It is locked during the colder months. There was no renovation to the building last year. How in the world could anyone spend $74,000 to operate such a place in one year, much less lose that much money?

Mismanagement is going to be expensive no matter how many facilities are closed in Columbia.

Luke Leonard

Columbia

Reader praises Sun for its reporting, leadership

I want to vote for The Sun for president of the United States.

Lately, The Sun has exposed some important issues and has forced politicians to respond. The abuse at the boot camps, the horrors of lead poisoning of Baltimore children and, lately, the tough gun laws with limited enforcement are all issues I believe are important.

The Sun has rallied people with power to do something about those issues. Those in power aresaying they are going to work together to alleviate those problems. Now, isnt that the way government is suppose to work?

I commend The Sun for it sin-depth reporting and its call for action.

Maureen McCarren

Ellicott City

The benefits if Columbia became a municipality

Your editorial Power to the people in Columbia (Jan. 31) ended with: Political power; How to get more of it and how to use it.

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