From: Carl O. Snowden
On Sunday, June 9, The Anne Arundel County Sun published a story concerning the unfortunate accident involving Terrence Tolbert, the youngster from the Robinwood community.
In the story, it stated that I held the Annapolis Housing Authority responsible for this accident. This is not correct. On the contrary, I commended Harold Greene, executive director of the Annapolis Housing Authority, for taking steps to ensure that an accident like this one would not occur in the future.
At the press conference last Thursday, I stated that there were two purposes for this conference. One was to thank the community for its financial contributions, and the second was to give a medical update on Terrence's condition. I would appreciate it if you would make a correction.
WHAT'S GOING ON IN SCHOOL?
From: Peggy Grimes
The best-kept secret in our country today is the fact that education has become so controversial. Groups such as WATCHhave formed all over the country to protest not only sex education, but drug, suicide/death, environmental, privacy invading, anti-family, anti-parent, anti-Christian education, to name just a few.
Citizens as a class so trust education that they do not see the obvious. The reason Johnny still can't read is that he is not being taught properly. Our schools have become "clinics whose purpose is to provide individualized psychological 'treatment' for the student, thus increasing his value both to himself and to society," fulfilling the goal of the National Education Association stated in 1969.
Many controversial materials are presented just before a school break or before school closes for the summer.
Studies have shown for years that sex ed, drug ed, death ed courses, to name just a few, have caused the problems they claim to cure, but experts say it isn't so.
Teachers andlegislators, incapable of doing anything about the problem, have cast their vote. Most of their children are in private school. Even school board members have removed their children from public school afterparents alerted them to some school practices.
For more information, write to WATCH, P.O. Box 227, Taneytown MD 21157.
CANCEL THE TESTS
From: Aaron Stewart
and other students at Old Mill
Middle School South
This letter is concerned with the new Maryland SchoolPerformance Assessment Program. We realize that often individuals have a strong desire to exclusively implement their ideas; however, ourgovernment is a democracy, which is run by the people. The former would be a dictatorship, quite contrasting with the Constitution of theUnited States of America. We, the students of Maryland, are the people who are affected by this test, and we request in unison that this program be removed from the teaching curriculum of Anne Arundel County.
The value of this program has been questioned by a veritable plethora of students and teachers in our area. Tests are usually made to find the intelligence or potential of the individuals to whom the test is administered. We are disappointed that these tests apparently are not designed in such a way, but instead to find how well the information is taught, which is the teacher's responsibility. As we arrive at this level of reasoning, we encounter several problems with the test.
No students who have recently entered Maryland should take these tests because they have not been taught by Maryland teachers. Also, it is not necessary to administer these tests to all of the students, but rather to a small, randomly selected group.
Perhaps the greatest error lies in the fact that these tests are graded by Maryland teachers. No two teachers are alike, and therefore they all have varying opinions and grading standards. Also, the tests may be graded with bias because the tests show how well students are taught in Maryland. This is equivalent to the teachers grading themselves!
Another drawback to this program is that it does not contribute to education or allow the students to demonstrate their potential. Rather, it takes away over an hour of school time and school money. Even with a conservative estimate, this amounts to a considerable sum of revenue that might have been spent for much more educational purposes or to paydebts and repair school equipment that couldn't be repaired because of the revenue shortage during Operation Desert Storm.
The time for the test is extracted from normal class time, thus detracting from the process of education. An excellent example is the eighth-grade geometry class, which is combined with a high school class.
The class continues, despite the inability of several of the eighth-grade students to attend. Consequently, these students are unable to learn material and are faced with the possibility of receiving a final grade that could be substantially lower, through no fault of their own.
We assure you that, through a multitude of additional sources, some ofwhich, unfortunately, may be somewhat uncouth due to the attempts ofinvolved individuals to express their frustration, you will see examples of problems brought about by this program and you will find thatmany people strongly disagree with the ideas of this program.
Many of us are bothered by the extent of the secrecy of this program because we have not been informed of much about the test and even the lack of information concerning the class schedule when the test is taken puts our schools one step closer to total chaos. Many students are confused about the tests, particularly about why tests made to find Maryland's overall scholastic performance are put in the students' individual records. Also, we find an inconsistency that different individuals in the same grade receive different versions of the tests.
We would appreciate it if in the future you would not modify the school curriculum without the approval of the people.
In our society, which is run by the people, no major act can be successfully carried out without at least partial support by the people.
We strongly desire the prompt withdrawal of the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program from our school system and the removal of the grades from individual records.
THANKS TO RIVER PROTECTORS
From: Jonathan Pearson
Maryland Save Our Streams
The staff of the Severn River Project of Maryland Save Our Streams wishes to take this opportunity to thank The Anne Arundel County Sun for its excellent coverage of the Severn River Stream Survey.
We are most thankful to the more than 220 citizens, including County Executive Robert R. Nealland County Council Chairwoman Virginia Clagett, who turned out on May 11 to locate potential pollution sources along the scenic Severn River and its tributaries.