Partisan AdviceI found it disturbing to receive...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Partisan Advice

I found it disturbing to receive mail the same day from two different investment firms, T. Rowe Price and Legg Mason, which made similar partisan political attacks against President Clinton under the guise of offering investment advice.

The Legg Mason "Investment Letter" from William H. Miller is a blatant political attack.

The T. Rowe Price piece starts off, "Higher taxes are central to President Clinton's new economic package. Higher taxes for all Americans."

These items then go on to indicate how to beat the system with tax-free investments and other approaches that enable the affluent to reduce their share of our nation's costs and leave them to be paid by the less affluent.

The reality is, like it or not, that soaring health costs have to be paid; the massive deficits of the Reagan-Bush years have to be paid and, as defense spending is reduced, people working in these areas need assistance to get through the transition. As plants like Grumman's on the Eastern Shore close, those people need the help of other Americans.

The obsessive quest for the almighty dollar over the past decade has left this nation with a lot of problems which have to be paid for.

Rather than shirking our duty by looking for tax shelters, we should be willingly shouldering our responsibilities for the sake of this great country and our children and grandchildren.

Investment advice of the kind these two firms sent out gives me the impression they really don't give a damn about the United States as long as they can make a fast buck.

David H. Pardoe

Columbia

Colonial Village

We are writing in response to an article April 28, "Mayor tests suburbs in Colonial Village." As residents of Colonial Village, we object strongly to the depiction of our neighborhood as "a repository of civic spirit but a neighborhood under siege."

We found this most offensive in light of the fact that the remainder of the article focused on the mayor and his plans for improving services and had nothing to do with our community.

The graphic description of a local shopping center was exaggerated and in no way reflects the conditions of our neighborhood.

Quite obviously the article's author failed to drive down the streets of Colonial Village to find the carefully tended homes and children playing in yards and sidewalks.

Is our community a reflection of conditions present in all suburban areas? Of course it is. Is the local shopping center a target of crime, as all centers are? Of course, that goes without saying.

However, to describe our community as under siege was a gross misrepresentation of the truth. How unfortunate for your readers.

Beth and David Hecht

Baltimore

American Lives

I feel any interference by United States armed forces in Bosnia would be foolish.

This is a civil war; how can you fight what you cannot identify?

I for one am not willing to sacrifice American lives for something that does not affect the United States.

Why should we prematurely end tens of thousands of American lives for a cause that even the European Community won't get

involved in?

Dan Thorpe

Baltimore

Fight to Win

Our national interest does not require us to put American troops in harm's way in Bosnia.

It is a religious war, and I have never met anyone who changed religion by being bombed.

If we conduct bombing, we must still put ground troops in to maintain a peace -- unless we go in with overwhelming force and destroy the whole country.

Henry Kissinger made a brilliant analysis on television recently in which he detailed many reasons not to inject our young Americans into another Lebanon.

It may take time, but a very strict embargo will get the Serbs' attention.

I was in combat on Iwo Jima. Once you start a war you better be ready to finish it and win it.

Maj. Gen. Edwin Warfield III (Ret.)

Woodbine

To Improve Education, Dignify Teachers

One reason that public school teachers might be "The Not-Quite Profession" (editorial, May 4) is that teachers are not compensated like professionals.

Unlike most other professions, the real teachers in the profession do not receive the highest compensation. It appears that the way for a teacher to obtain an increase in salary is to get out of the classroom. That is why principals, vice-principals and administrators have higher salaries than teachers in the classroom.

The problems with our nation's schools are deep and complex, but I have one simple proposal that might help: The highest paid person in any school building should be a teacher in the classroom.

Francis J. Gorman

Baltimore

____________

The May 4 editorial in The Sun's series on education, together with Susan Ohanian's article on the Opinion * Commentary page, were a terrific combination.

When we keep "insisting that teachers are valued professionals, teachers start believing it . . . If significant change is to occur in schools, teachers will be the change agents.

"But . . . not enough top students are entering the field . . . the pay of beginning lawyers in major Baltimore-area firms slipped last year to $49,500. Beginning teachers' pay . . . ranged from $22,162 . . . to $25,500."

This is an odious comparison for the most important profession in our society. For example, how many doctors, lawyers, scientists and athletes have helped develop a teacher? Reverse the question. How many teachers have helped develop a doctor, lawyer, scientist or athlete?

Maryland's Secretary of Higher Education Shaila Aery's five-year teacher-education program, Baltimore's programs for consulting teachers, teacher mentors and an instructional teacher leader model are all on the right track. But all entail some additional cost. Statewide equitable funding would certainly help make these efforts possible, particularly in Baltimore and other lower-funded systems where the need is greatest.

As was stated in The Sun editorial, "more must be done to make schools places where professionalism flourishes." If we have teachers who can build "a field of dreams" in each classroom, the children will come.

R. O. Bonnell Jr.

Baltimore

The writer chairs the education committee of Society of Executive Retired Volunteers.

____________

Based on Franklyn G. Jenifer's May 3 column "Education in a Vacuum," we seem to be gradually getting nearer solving the education dilemma. Ten or 20 years ago we would note that students were not being educated. But then "educators" would DTC come up with some crackpot solution which had no effect at all.

Now, we continue to observe that we have many undereducated youngsters. As with Mr. Jenifer's explanation we still can't find a solution, but we are getting nearer the answer. Unfortunately, we seem to find an excuse for every problem.

Mr. Jenifer poses the question on homework, "What if the home they [students] have is impoverished or so chaotic that doing homework is impossible? Or what if their interest in doing their homework is met with derision, or even ostracism by their peers?" And, of course, this is the schools' fault!

This is probably one reason for the failures of Head Start. We start out with a fun-and-games attitude provided in a pre-school environment and by the fourth or fifth grade there is no follow-up parental influence involving homework. The student is lost after that.

Obviously, some households are doomed to failure, but if parents don't instill a little discipline and demand results, the level of education will continue to stagnate.

The sad part of this phenomenon is that we have left our youth unguided for decades and now are reaping the benefits of undisciplined parents foisting undisciplined children on society. It would be interesting to compare the time spent in sports activities and TV watching with that involved with homework.

Mr. Jenifer asks, "How can our nation -- morally as well as economically -- afford to write off such a large segment of our population?" One reason is that we have spent billions since Brown vs. Board of Education on endless gimmicks to "fix" our education system.

On the economic side, we have fewer and fewer jobs that anyone in his right mind would accept. We are becoming a low-tech service economy full of incompetent youth with no desire to improve themselves educationally.

For those few jobs which require some smarts -- medical, scientific, and engineering -- we have enough bright interested youngsters in the pipeline to fill our needs. If there is ever a crunch we can always reallocate many of these types from silly non-productive jobs -- i.e. cosmetics chemists, breakfast cereal developers, and, of course, lawyers.

The field of teaching is one area where we do lack top quality. This is mainly because of American obsession with money.

Unlike many foreign countries we do not produce what we need in our education system. We let areas where real ability is required suffer, with money-grubbing Americans going for the big-bucks jobs. This is the American way.

I hope The Sun will not merely provide readers with a regurgitation of past series and get down to brass tacks. There should be daily information on the status of education in Maryland -- not just all the photo opportunities and political events we are used to. One would think that if The Sun can send correspondents to Moscow and South Africa, that a little more critical attention could be given to schooling.

R. D. Bush

Columbia

Aid Available

I have just finished reading the article concerning Loch Raven High School seniors' financial needs for college. I am education and scholarship chairman for the American Legion Unit No. 183.

For the past four years, I have taken scholarship applications to Loch Raven, and no one has applied.

These are not little scholarships. One is for $2,000 per year and can be renewed for an additional three years. One is for $1,000 and can also be renewed for three years. Another is for $2,500, another for $1,000 and another for an amount that changes each year, depending on funds collected.

Loch Raven has not participated this year in our Girls State Program, which also offers a scholarship.

As you can understand, after talking with the vice principal and the guidance department each year concerning these scholarships, I am just a little perturbed about this article.

Lois S. Greene

Parkville

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
39°