March 30, 2012
The historic Linwood estate has been known for many things, from hosting a Confederate general to its current mission to help children and adults with autism live a better life. But if the National Christ Child Society gets its way, the antebellum property in Ellicott City might one day become sacred ground. For it was in the whispers of a Linwood wheat field 134 years ago that an 11-year-old Mary Virginia Merrick felt the call of God on her heart and knelt among the golden stalks in prayer.
February 2, 2012
Mitt Romney's ill-considered remark about the destitute, "I'm not concerned about the very poor," and his subsequent awkward explanation of it represented something more noteworthy than a rich man's gaffe. The question raised by the episode is not simply whether the candidate can articulate his views more clearly but whether the dire economic circumstances of tens of millions of Americans are truly understood, or can even be acknowledged, by the GOP. "We have a social safety net," Mr. Romney told his CNN interviewer Wednesday.
December 12, 2011
Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has been castigated on the opinion pages for declaring that child labor laws "are truly stupid" and for suggesting that poor children be hired to clean the bathrooms of their schools in order to teach a work ethic they can't possibly learn at home because nobody there has a job. "Really poor children," he said at an Iowa fundraiser, "in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working, and have...
December 8, 2011
Newt Gingrich wants to pay poor kids to clean toilets. And all of the right people are horrified. The Nation says Mr. Gingrich is running on "a platform that seems to have been written by the unreformed Ebenezer Scrooge. " The editors of the Newark Star-Ledger proclaim Mr. Gingrich wants to "bring back the days of Oliver Twist. " The host of "Meet the Press," David Gregory, suggests Mr. Gingrich's take on the inner-city poor is a "grotesque distortion. " This controversy started last month at Harvard, when Mr. Gingrich suggested in a speech that perhaps the best way to break the cycle of poverty in inner cities is to break the culture of poverty that sustains it by, among other things, paying kids to do janitorial work.
October 1, 2011
I empathize with Peter French's letter about the difficulties teachers in poor communities face ("Even without No Child Left Behind, teaching is debased," Sept. 29). My family arrived in America penniless in 1969 and we lived in the slums of Brooklyn, where I trudged through broken glass and filth to get to school every day. So I know a little about the poverty of which he speaks, and the mentality that makes children growing up in its midst difficult to teach. Too many parents behave as if they don't want to have anything to do with their children's education.
February 22, 2011
The recent decision by Frederick County's Board of County Commissioners to eliminate funding to its local Head Start program was surpassed in callousness only by the statements two male commissioners subsequently chose to make on child-rearing. After voting to cut the county's $2.3 million contribution to the Head Start program, which readies preschool children from low-income families for kindergarten, commissioners C. Paul Smith and Kirby Delauter remarked that the ideal households were those in which the women stayed at home with small children, as their wives did. They said this made not only for better child-rearing but also for better marriages.