I must agree with Merle Cuttitta, president of SEIU Local 500, when he writes in his "Readers Respond" letter ("General Assembly attack on pensions is unconscionable, " April 4) urging our lawmakers in Annapolis not to punish the hardworking men and women of our state. But, beyond that, Mr. Cuttitta's letter is wrong in so many ways.
First he touts the No. 1 rating of Maryland public schools and the part played by union workers in achieving that rating. As a number of recent letters appearing in "Readers Respond" from retired teachers and college educators attest, the reality is that undeserving students are promoted and even graduated in order to show improvements in Baltimore City graduation rates and that large percentages of Maryland students enter college without basic writing skills. Add to that reports of fixing or cheating on standardized test scores. What do the folks who are pushing unworthy students through the school system and who are fixing answers on standardize tests have in common; and who's national organization is awarding No.1 ratings to a state school system where students must take remedial reading, writing and math courses as prerequisites to standard entry level college courses? They are Mr. Cuttitta's brothers and sisters at the Maryland State Education Association.