Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

January 11, 2004

Start assessing school administrators

With a county-wide increase in high school students who make a 2.0 GPA or below, with almost half of Anne Arundel County's ninth-grade algebra students making D's or E's, with low teacher morale, with oversized classes, with diminished curriculum in middle school and elementary school, isn't it time to perhaps expand school assessment to our school administrators?

When Dr. Smith was in North Carolina, [that] state and Smith's own "high standards" led to what the Charlotte Observer called, "a dangerous downside that state leaders have widely ignored: a dramatic rise in dropouts. After holding steady for years, the percentage of students quitting N.C. high schools in 1999 surged to the highest rate in at least a decade, and remained high a year later."

Dr. Smith's response at the time was, "we anticipated that there would be casualties". Sound familiar? I thought Smith believed that all children could learn. Why are we ignoring the children dropping out? No parent of any of these children appreciates their kids being referred to as expected "casualties" of Dr. Smith's mandates. Is Eric Smith willing to write a letter for each of these kids to their prospective colleges explaining that their grades are the "expected" outcome of his recently implemented educational programs?

Eric Smith has been through this process before in North Carolina. I'd have hoped he would have benefited from past experience by preventing this kind of outcome or putting in place the proper safety nets ahead of time for those children perceived to be negatively impacted. If he didn't have the adequate budget to implement these programs, shouldn't he have slowed down? Don't harsh economic times call for responsible financial decisions?

Lyn Horan

Severna Park

Was judge too lenient with murder suspect?

I had to do a double-take when reading The Sun's analysis of the homicides that occurred in Anne Arundel County in 2003. To start with, the closure rate of less than 60 percent is a little disappointing, although in fairness to the police some of the circumstances seemed to be beyond their control.

What is shocking is that Anne Arundel County District Court Judge Martha F. Rasin ruled that Terry Eslin could live at her son's home in Annapolis until her trial date. Is this standard procedure for someone who is accused of shooting and bludgeoning someone else to death when they are sleeping? I hope that Judge Rasin did not grant this leniency simply because Ms. Eslin is a woman, because a woman with a gun is every bit as deadly as a man with a gun, and a man who is sleeping is every bit as defenseless as a woman who is sleeping. If there are extenuating circumstances, the Sunpaper should have included them in the article. If not, Judge Rasin should seriously re-consider how she has handled this case.

Michael DeCicco

Severn

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