November 21, 2008

Refreshing candor from the new leader

Watching Steve Kroft's post-election interview with President-elect Barack Obama, I was braced for the wearisome bluster, swagger and hot-air rhetoric that have come with every (so-called) presidential figure in recent memory ("'60 Minutes' scores with Obama interview," Nov. 20). But they didn't come. Instead, we saw a future commander in chief deliver his thoughts with unprecedented calm, clarity, composure and, finally, straight talk.

It was a thrilling moment, but not in the standard sense: not because of Mr. Obama's victory but because of the excitement I felt as I watched our president-elect answer questions in a cool-headed and sincere manner.

And it was a historic moment, not because Mr. Obama will be the nation's first black president but because he displayed characteristics that are rarely, if ever, witnessed in public office, such as wisdom and humility - traits Mr. Obama himself admires in his predecessor Abraham Lincoln.

I look forward to a bright "Barack-cracy."

Jaye Dansicker, Sparks

Overlooking the role of city teachers union

Liz Bowie's article "Education advocates ask Assembly not to cut funds" (Nov. 18) neglected to mention the presence and participation of the Baltimore Teachers Union at Monday's news conference.

However, not only was the BTU present at the press conference during which educational proponents asked legislators not to cut funds for education but Connie Goodly, the assistant to the presidents of BTU, was the first to address the Assembly.

Press conference participants noted that education in Maryland has improved noticeably since additional school funding was provided through the Thornton formula.

In Baltimore, that progress has been achieved primarily through the efforts of BTU members - teachers and paraprofessionals in the classrooms.

Ms. Bowie's omission of the role of the BTU is an oversight that needs to be corrected.

Terence Cooper, Baltimore

The writer is director of communications for the American Federation of Teachers - Maryland.

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