Better salaries, funding foster quality teaching The...


October 27, 2002

Better salaries, funding foster quality teaching

The experiences related in "Return to classroom proves a test for some" (Oct. 13) show how ludicrous it is for anyone to think that recruiting career-changers will solve the problem of retaining public school teachers for the long haul.

Using individuals trained in another profession or discipline to staff schools makes as much sense as doing the same for hospitals or law offices.

My experience as a patient does not prepare me to be a health care professional. And the same principle rules out the idea that having been a student enables one to lead a classroom.

We who have chosen to be career educators have long known that the only answer to teacher retention is for local governments and boards of education to provide real professional salaries and the support needed to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

Here in Harford County, we recently lost 5 percent of our association members due to resignations stemming from factors other than retirement, personal leave or dismissal.

The No Child Left Behind Act, well-intentioned as it is, will exacerbate the problem as systems will be required to recruit and retain only "highly qualified" professionals and support personnel.

Unless those of us who have been in the trenches are given substantial input, along with a flood of the right kind of funding, disaster waits in the wings for Maryland schools.

Paul S. Schatz

Bel Air

The writer is president of the Harford County Education Association.

Don't blame mayor for city's violence

It was interesting to read about the misplaced anger directed at Mayor Martin O'Malley during last Sunday's rally in the East Baltimore neighborhood decimated by the recent arson attack ("At rally, fear turns to anger," Oct. 21).

To say that BUILD has a personal vendetta toward the mayor would be to put it mildly.

But until neighborhood residents start to take a pro-active stance toward the problems under their noses, they will continue to bury their neighbors.

The East Oliver neighborhood needs to accept the responsibility for what's happening there.

And the next time people want to rally and start pointing fingers, they should take a long look in the mirror.

L.J. Mossman Jr.


In response to BUILD asking "Where was the mayor?" related to the firebombing deaths of the Dawson family, my question is: Where were the churches?

It is the mayor's job to see that city agencies, like the police and courts, do their jobs to protect the citizens of Baltimore. He is doing all that he can to make this happen, with little support.

It is the job of the churches to stand in solidarity with the vulnerable citizens of these terrorized neighborhoods. When someone as brave as Ms. Dawson says no to the criminals, she should not be expected to stand alone.

Playing the "blame the mayor" game is easy and safe. It is also shameful in the face of such an atrocity.

Lucy Strausbaugh


Make arson arrest only the beginning

The quick arrest of Darrell L. Brooks as the suspect in the arson fire that killed seven law-respecting and "Believing" Baltimoreans is a good start ("Arson suspect clerked for city," Oct. 23).

But what about those who gave him his marching orders and keep that corner of the city flush with drugs?

Now is the time to decisively cripple and humiliate those on top of the criminal ladder, just as the hope of better-minded people is being crushed by such criminals.

Kurt Kroncke


Judge candidates by issues, not coffers

The article "Sen. Hollinger aims to win voters with experience, record" (Oct. 22) seemed to belittle the candidacy of Alan P. Zukerberg for state Senate.

Mr. Zukerberg has developed wide backing based on his positions on pressing issues facing our district.

It would be refreshing if The Sun would compare positions on issues rather than distort the legitimacy of a candidate based on endorsement and money spent.

Morris Binder


Race of suspects isn't the real story

I was appalled to read the article regarding the race of the sniper suspects ("African-Americans grapple with race of sniper suspects," Oct. 25). The entire story focused on how the African-American community is dealing with the fact that the alleged sniper happens to be black, and the negative effects that fact may have on African-Americans.

What was shamefully left out was the fact that the head of the sniper investigation -- the person who oversaw the entire multi-jurisdictional task force -- is also a black man, Montgomery County Police Chief Charles A. Moose.

Instead of making excuses for the sniper's race, the real story should have been about the thousands of African-Americans taking great pride in Chief Moose and his leadership throughout this manhunt.

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