Letters To The Editor


July 30, 2006

Partnership proves helpful to learning

While debate swirls as to whether public or private schools are more successful, reporter Sara Neufeld's article about the new initiative known as "Middle Grades Partnership" (MGP) offers us some practical insights into what really works for teaching and learning ("Pairings put a purpose in kids' summer," July 24).

Many of us who work in private schools know we have an obligation to our city and to the community and do not place ourselves in opposition to public education.

And our perspective, at the Gilman School and other MGP sites, is that we can learn from each other and that we can cooperate across boundaries on behalf of youngsters.

The fact that so many area private schools as well as universities and colleges are interested in joining this program speaks to its efficacy.

The two most important features of the MGP Partnership are that we in the private schools are in a genuine collaboration with our public school counterparts, rather than engaging in what might be perceived as a patronizing "we-know-best" approach and that the MGP program operates all year and thus will try to provide the continuity and consistency usually missing from short summer programs.

In the long run, we will improve mathematics education, creative writing skills and promote a lot of other talents city students clearly possess.

We are all excited by the promise of this work.

Jon McGill


The writer is headmaster of the Gilman School.

Partisanship blocks key security bill

I can't believe how partisan our politicians are, even when it comes to survival of the nation.

The directors of the CIA and the National Security Agency have testified in favor of a measure that would expand the government's eavesdropping authority ("CIA, NSA back surveillance bill," July 27).

This worthwhile bill, which would permit the president to conduct domestic spying without a warrant to seek out terrorists under presidential war powers, is backed by most Republicans, led by President Bush and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter. But just about every Democrat seems to oppose it.

I truly wish our congressional leaders would protect the nation rather than their party and make it safe for me to travel through the Harbor Tunnel or over the Key Bridge without the threat of a terrorist event.

The terrorists can act swiftly.

Let's let the administration do likewise to counter their moves.

Jerry Todd


Killing of civilians must come to end

I have always strongly supported Israel's right to exist. At the same time, the killing of innocent civilians - Lebanese or U.N. observers - has got to stop ("Diplomats fail to reach agreement on cease-fire," July 27).

The stability of the entire region is at risk.

We must push for direct peace talks between Israel and Lebanon immediately.

Christopher Camp


Appeasing terrorists won't lead to peace

Hezbollah has engaged in more than 20 years of anti-American actions, including murdering more than 240 U.S. Marines in Lebanon. Is it an organization we can trust ("Crisis in the Mideast deepens," July 27)?

Israel, on the other hand, has almost 60 years of friendship with the United States.

Hezbollah's vision for the Holy Land is as a Muslim-only, perhaps extremist-sect-only enclave; the Israeli vision is the current reality - in which all people are welcome to pray, gather, commune and visit.

Hezbollah and Hamas remain steadfast in their determination to destroy Israel, our only true ally in the Middle East.

It is in our best interest to secure a lasting peace but not to appease these terrorists.

Harvey Cohen


Steele mostly toes the GOP party line

Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele's recent criticism of the failed policies of President Bush might have meant more if he hadn't tried to remain anonymous while giving it ("Steele's blunt words stir up speculation," July 26).

Mr. Steele's campaign spokesman Doug Heye said that "he's somebody who likes to speak frankly on the issues." And that Mr. Steele "doesn't pull any punches."

Well, while Mr. Steele has accepted huge amounts of campaign funds raised by President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove, he continues to pretend that he is some kind of maverick moderate.

In fact, Mr. Steele is opposed to abortion even in cases of rape or incest; opposes stem cell research if it destroys an embryo; supports the free trade that has sent millions of American jobs overseas and even opposes allowing a loving gay couple to adopt a child.

He supports school vouchers, tax cuts for the rich and, until the past few days, had said nothing negative about the disastrous policies of the Bush administration in Iraq.

Mr. Steele is a true Republican and as he said, has the "scarlet letter" "R" around his neck.

He is no more an "independent voice" than Fox News is.

Eric Crossley


Wrong cure for woes of historical society

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