Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

December 16, 2007

Democratic leaders guilty of power grab

I read The Sun's editorial on the reappointment of state schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick to another four-year term over the expressed wishes of Gov. Martin O'Malley, House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller with disbelief ("A galling grasp for power," Dec. 13).

First, the editorial praises Ms. Grasmick for "significant accomplishments. She has been a longtime advocate for accountability and assessments, even before the federal No Child Left Behind law, and she has been committed to quality education for all students."

Then, the editorial noted that "under current law, the board can get rid of the superintendent only for performance lapses, such as misconduct in office or incompetence, which are not likely to apply to Ms. Grasmick."

But the truly unbelievable aspect of the editorial was that it charged this well-performing superintendent with a "galling grasp for power," when the truth is that it is the Democrats in power who wish to force out the Maryland State Board of Education's choice to allow Mr. O'Malley to have his appointed lackey as schools superintendent.

Will The Sun stop at nothing to curry favor with Mr. O'Malley and the Democrats?

Douglas Dribben

Woodstock

Politics intrudes on state's schools

In its editorial "A galling grasp for power" (Dec. 13), The Sun calls the decision by the Maryland State Board of Education to reappoint state schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick "galling."

The Sun goes on to point out that under the law, the board can dismiss Ms. Grasmick only for reasons of misconduct or incompetence, which are "not likely to apply" in her case.

The only reason, then, not to reappoint this competent person to a position that she excels at is because Gov. Martin O'Malley doesn't like her.

The same Mr. O'Malley who did such a lousy job with Baltimore's schools now wants to appoint one of his puppets as state schools superintendent and destroy the entire state school system.

If the legislature is ignorant enough to change the laws to allow Mr. O'Malley to do this, all its members need to be removed from office.

Keith DiNardo

Elkridge

It is very sad to see Maryland politics interfering with the education of our children.

It is so apparent that Gov. Martin O'Malley, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch are all about gaining further power in their alliance to oust state schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick.

The Maryland State Board of Education needs to be an independent board that is not played by politicians who hope to gain power by grandstanding over the future of our young people.

Let's support Ms. Grasmick and keep the education of our children out of the hands of politicians.

Bob Arnold

Baltimore

Kids not well served by Grasmick's role

State schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick's decision to seek a new four-year term in the face of the disapproval of her remaining in office by many legislative leaders and the governor is not about the kids, as she pretends, but about Ms. Grasmick's desire to hold on to her job ("Despite critics, new deal for Grasmick," Dec. 12).

And indeed, it would be appropriate for Gov. Martin O'Malley to have a schools superintendent who shares his vision.

Ms. Grasmick has proved to be a successful political operative. But if the children were her mission, she would graciously step down at the end of this term.

Beverly R. Stappler

Baltimore

Labor costs decide what jobs are filled

The union official who wrote the letter "Lousy wages block entry to middle class" (Dec. 7) asserts that office-cleaning jobs "have to be filled by someone."

This mistaken belief misleads many people into supposing that employers have no choice but to pay statutorily imposed higher wages.

In fact, no job must be filled. Each worker is hired only when an employer gains more from hiring that worker than it costs that employer to make the hire.

And even for high-priority tasks, such as keeping office buildings clean and smoothly operating, employers can substitute machines and other technologies for workers.

Donald J. Boudreaux

Fairfax

The writer is chairman of the economics department at George Mason University.

Punish the leaders who chose to torture

Thank you for the clear editorial denouncing torture ("The law is clear," Dec. 12).

I agree with The Sun's points: We do know what torture is; torture is a crime; and those responsible - including those who devised the convoluted rules that allowed torture as well as those who authorized, oversaw and committed it - should be held accountable.

I feel some sympathy for those who have committed the actual torture because I feel sure that they thought by doing so they were serving their country and following the orders of respected leaders.

And indeed, studies have shown that most would commit acts of torture in certain circumstances - especially in cases in which a respected authority figure orders it.

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