Letters to the editor from Arlington Heights, Northbrook, Palatine, Park Ridge, Skokie and Glenview.
Student athlete unions
This is in response to university student athletes wanting to unionize. Friends of mine can attest to the fact that when I was in Champaign, taking 15 to 18 hours per semester, I was also serving them and many others on campus bagels as an assistant manager at Lox, Stock & Bagel. I typically worked 35 to 40 hours per week. Here is what I did not receive while working those hours:
• Accolades, recognition, feelings of celebrity on campus.
• Access to state-of-the-art exercise facilities to maintain my physique and health, much less a trainer (I used the campus gym when I could).
• Tutors, free of charge, to help me study at midnight after my shift.
• Exemption from class attendance.
• And, most important, tuition and housing reimbursement.
I get that athletes want medical coverage for potential injuries (I had only potential knife mishaps to contend with). Maybe they could take out a supplemental insurance policy to the one offered all other students. If the school wanted to cover the cost, fine.
Other than that, I am siding with past (professionally successful) athletes who have attested to the fact using the tools provided them upon "signing" that these athletes can get their degree and triumph. Or they can give up football and basketball, get a campus job and become invisible. I don't see that happening.
— Liisa Gary, Arlington Heights
I have to admit that I never took either the SAT or ACT tests, but I've taken a few other well-respected tests. For starters, I took the Northwestern University entrance exam way back in the late 1950s, and along the way also took the graduate boards to gain graduate admission to Loyola, and the LSAT to gain admission to John Marshall Law School. I passed them all with flying colors and was admitted to all those schools.
I'm not bragging, just stating the facts.
And I've taken the Wonderlic tests for jobs as well and never scored lower than 85.
OK, here's my point: The majority of those tests primarily measured my memory, and I've always had an excellent memory. The tests that I believe are really important are those that measure one's ability to think logically, not memorize stuff.
I really believe that it's much easier to memorize stuff than to think logically. So it's time to decide what really defines an excellent student as opposed to a student with a good memory!
— M. Free, Northbrook
Experimenting with students
I have been reading the pros and cons of Common Core, another experimental teaching system. We encountered an experimental teaching system in the early 1970s when our family lived in Grosse Pointe, Mich. We elected to live there due to the excellent reputation of the school system at the time. A new curriculum to be installed in the local grammar school was known as an "experimental governmental" program. The name itself was frightening enough, and I certainly did not want my children to be part of any experimental program! This program was to last six years, and the school system was to receive $100,000.