Amprey's plan for schools is supported
I applaud the new Baltimore City school superintendent, Walter Amprey, for his recent plan to decentralize the decision-making process for the city schools.
As someone with responsibility for organizational design in the business world, I can assure you that Dr. Amprey's plan will work if structural standards are maintained.
The number of administrators must remain low at the regional level and local schools should retain all decision-making responsibilities, as long as the results help students learn and perform better.
Also, the regional directors should have, as a primary responsibility, the evaluation, remediation and replacement of local school officials who fail to manage the schools productively.
Although education is a humanistic endeavor, there is no humanism in mismanagement, especially when the futures of young people ride in the balance.
Joseph W. Arwady
House Bill 1339 would allow someone with only 20 hours of training to take "limited" X-rays. This bill was lobbied almost exclusively by physicians, who surely have a conflict of interest. Obviously, those who can be trained in 20 hours command a significantly lower pay rate than the college-educated.
Registered radiologic technologists who work in accredited institutions are required to graduate from an accredited school, take a national exam and undertake a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education every two years -- just to take your chest X-ray!
Would you allow someone with little more than two days training to cut your hair? Where is the public interest in this bill?
I am a student at Towson State and recently we studied Allen Ginsberg. In his poem "America" there is a line that sums up my feelings when the branches of our libraries were closed:
"America, why are your libraries full of tears?"
I pass libraries that are living presences in our community, breathing. Books are the oxygen of education, and libraries are our lungs.
Need a change
I am writing in response to the article saying President Bush and Ross Perot are almost even in the California Poll.
The fact that he is a businessman with no real political experience may work in the country's favor. Everyone is always complaining that politicians are liars and cheaters who gain scandalous reputations through their devious behavior.
In addition, just because he has no experience in public office does not mean that he cannot handle the pressure. Businessmen today, especially successful ones such as Mr. Perot, are faced with crucial decisions all of the time.
This country needs a change, and if President Bush and Bill Clinton can't offer any solutions, then maybe Ross Perot can.
King verdict provokes questions, anger and despair
Like the rest of the country I am horrified and amazed by the situation in Los Angeles. As I watch the destruction I wonder why this is happening.
An unfair verdict was handed down; a person, innocent or not, has not gotten justice. But does that warrant mass stealing, arson and violence? I don't believe so; and yet I can't hold the community solely responsible. I think about the individuals who make up this particular community; most of them are poor, black and Hispanic, most of them under-educated.
The nation is in a recession and has been governed by a conservative regime that cut back on social welfare programs, increased taxes for the poor and middle class and worked to limit civil liberties. The riots in Los Angeles are an outcry against poor, unfulfilled, frustrating lives.
Perhaps if we realize that and work to change the causes, we can alter the effects. This is an election year. The situation in Los Angeles is an indication that it is time for a change.
In his address Friday night, President Bush wondered how he could explain to his grandchildren the events in Los Angeles. Many of us wondered how he could explain to them his own use of the Willie Horton incident that certainly led to increased racism in this country.
The Rodney King verdict was only one factor that sparked the outrage. The Reagan-Bush "benign" neglect of the cities, inattention to the poor and minorities and refusal to meet and work with minority leaders to combat racism were largely responsible for the outbreaks.
Will this administration now get its act together and start healing the country's wounds? The ball is in Mr. Bush's court.
Like many others, I watched the violence resulting from years of suppressed anger and frustration. I also watched opportunists looting with obvious pleasure what was not rightfully theirs. I watched with a sense of horror, disbelief and moral outrage at the past two administrations' studied and cynical neglect of the underlying problems in our major cities.
I found myself in despair over what this country has become. I thought of my personal ties to black people in my own life, many of whom helped me in myriad ways and who became part of my life. I thought of one especially without whose love and loyalty I might have continued without hope and health. I loved these friends and I think they loved me.
But still we live in different worlds, worlds that can be bridged not by distrust and anger, but by understanding, support, patience and love. We need to accept a biological fact: We are, after all, members together of the human race. We need to practice humanity.
I find it noteworthy that one of the first actions taken during the recent Los Angeles riot was to ban sales of guns and ammo.
Where was the National Rifle Association? Why weren't they protesting this abridgment of the Second Amendment? After all, "guns don't kill people."
Could it be that the NRA has come to the realization that the unrestricted availability of firearms contributes to the overall level of violence? And might that reasoning not only apply to riot day but the other 364?
I'm not holding my breath.
John W. Kirwan
The TV coverage of the Los Angeles rioting, burning and looting was noteworthy.
But why weren't the films of the black gang members kicking the innocent truck driver repeated over and over like the clubbing of Rodney King?
Perhaps the TV media had second thoughts about the effect their affinity for 30-second spots as a substitute for a more substantial look at the whole story has had on the American psyche. Or had they merely fulfilled their quota of Rambo actions in the time allotted between commercials?
Richard K. Heuer