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Critic should walk a mile in officer's...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Critic should walk a mile in officer's shoes

Garland L. Crosby's May 11 letter shows that he is the typical Monday morning quarterback who knows nothing about the procedures for making an arrest under extreme conditions.

I write this as a retired Baltimore City police officer with over 26 years of experience.

Procedure is simply a general guide as to how an officer should get something done. It doesn't allow for events that are out of the ordinary. I think that Mr. Crosby has been watching too many TV police shows.

Unless you have been a police officer and have participated in making an arrest, please don't suggest.

The people who are constantly critical and inclined to judge police officers harshly should be able to ride with an officer and see for themselves if written so-called "procedures" can always be complied with under trying circumstances.

Edmund W. Huppman

Baltimore

Tax incentive

As the administration and Congress begin the debates regarding major revisions to our country's tax structure I would -- like to point out that several studies suggest increasing marginal tax rates actually decreases tax revenues over time.

In any case, the one issue that should simply be stipulated, before the debate begins, is that increasing tax rates is anti-stimulative. Presumably there is no debate on this point.

It should be stipulated that what our country suffers from is a serious spending problem, not a revenue problem. There can hardly be a debate here, either. If Congress is determined to raise marginal tax rates, even in the face of historical and analytical evidence that this is exactly the wrong thing to do at this point in the business cycle, may I suggest that they at least consider scheduling the increase for Jan. 1, 1994?

If many prominent economists are correct, delaying the increase will actually increase tax revenues by encouraging people to generate income now. The impact of the tax rate increases in 1994 will then carry the revenue gains into the future, albeit perhaps temporarily.

Congress should carefully consider creating this window of opportunity which will, contrary to conventional political wisdom, increase the government revenues relative to a Jan. 1, 1993, or even July 1, 1993, implementation date.

erome W. Evans

Lutherville

Stop testing

It was recently reported in the Associated Press that the Clinton administration is about to propose a "compromise" plan allowing testing of nuclear weapons up to one kiloton beyond 1996.

This would conflict with the 1992 nuclear test moratorium law which requires the president to negotiate a comprehensive -- not partial -- test ban treaty by 1996.

Senators James Exon, George Mitchell and Mark Hatfield have urged the administration to reconsider this gravely mistaken policy. Senator Exon said, "I'm not only disappointed but appalled" that the administration is considering this "absolutely ludicrous" idea. The administration plan was also denounced in a New York Times editorial of May 6.

The renewal of U.S. testing is expected to trigger the resumption of Russian and French testing and would prevent any meaningful progress on multilateral CTB negotiations. It would make meaningful progress on nuclear nonproliferation impossible, especially important as the nonproliferation treaty is due to expire in 1995.

The U.S. cannot test nuclear weapons while attempting to prevent nuclear proliferation. The nuclear "have-not" nations consider this stance hypocritical. Continued testing also creates potential hazardous waste sites, and costs over $400 million annually in direct costs.

The Clinton administration should convene a meeting early this spring of the five declared nuclear powers to commence immediate multilateral negotiations toward a CTB Treaty, an ideal already endorsed by the French and Chinese.

The U.S. should not resume nuclear test explosions while test ban negotiations proceed. At stake is the development of an Iranian and North Korean bomb and, ultimately, the final failure of global non-proliferation.

Joseph Adams

Baltimore

Report card

My son, a second-grader at Rogers Forge Elementary School, recently came home with his no-grade report card. This is his second year with this format, which I whole-heartedly support.

The controversy over this practice has motivated me to write. I feel that this is the best evaluation process for a child his age. I support it in grade levels 1-5. This format enables parents to fully understand their child's performance.

Instead of traditional letter grades, there is a detailed checklist and a descriptive narrative that tells the parent exactly how the child is progressing in the academic areas as well as socially.

We need to generate such communication between teachers, children and parents in our education process. In doing so, we can build and support individual goals for each child.

Since young children differ so much in ability, goals set for one child may be too high or too low for another. By treating each child as an individual at the elementary level, young students may be more successful in accomplishing the goals set for them.

The child can then build on this success, and teachers and parents can emphasize the individual achievements the child has made. No-grade report cards can help accomplish this.

I do not want my child to learn for the sake of getting an "A," "B" or "C", which I believe happens all too often. I want my child to learn and have fun doing it. As long as my child tries his best, I will be happy with his progress in school.

No-grade report cards build the self-esteem of the child being evaluated. Building self-esteem and making the child feel good about his or her progress can only bring about a successful person.

By abolishing traditional grades, we have not taken away the evaluation process. As Mrs. Cole, my son's first-grade teacher and a participant on the Baltimore County committee for reviewing the grading format, said: "Taking away grades does not mean taking away standards."

Finally, no-grade report cards do not take away the child's ability to participate in local "reward" programs for students.

My son's report card was accepted at Fun Time Pizza, and I know others were accepted at Pizza Hut.

Patricia A. Wright

Baltimore

The will to learn

Our papers are filled with expressions of concern about the public schools and the lack of learning on the part of pupils. The teachers, grouping, lack of materials, parent disinterest and length of the school day and year are all blamed.

One fundamental factor, which may be the key, is seldom mentioned. That factor is the will of the pupil.

A pupil cannot be taught unless he or she is willing to yield his will to the teacher. One can learn on his own -- a hot stove will burn -- without yielding one's will, but one cannot learn from a teacher without being willing to yield.

Perhaps our national problem in education lies in our society's current extreme emphasis on individual rights. We have accepted a mode of child rearing which does not require a child to yield his will at all.

Consider each of the following experiences of a child and a youth:

* You do not have to eat some of everything served.

* You do not have to remain at the table until excused.

* You do not have to wait for older persons to be seated.

* You do not have to speak with respect.

* You do not have to care for your things.

* You do not have to go somewhere and be "good" if you choose to resist.

* You do not have to attend any function which you declare to be boring.

* You do not have to save for future needs.

* You do not have to show respect for anything.

Let's grant at once that none of the above is earth-shaking, but in following that path, children become youths without developing the grace or the exercise or even the ability to yield their wills. And without the ability to yield their wills they cannot be taught by teachers.

Some primitive cultures raised their males just so freely to make them independent hunters and warriors, and those individuals failed whenever sustained group actions were needed.

When we find that the progress of our pupils compares unfavorably with those of another society, we will find that those people expect the children to lay aside their egos and accept instruction.

We must change from trying to bring up generations of prima donnas.

C. Clark Jones

Bel Air

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