We won't give up on Chapter 1...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

We won't give up on Chapter 1 children

Brian Jendryka's article "Time to close the book on Chapter 1" (Other Voices, Nov. 30.) reflects the racist and reactionary philosophy of the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Mr. Jendryka's prescriptions are unmitigated nonsense.

Since its beginning in 1965, the Chapter 1 program has served as a sorely needed monetary supplement for school districts throughout the nation. Over 150 million economically and educationally impoverished children have been beneficiaries of Chapter 1 funding.

The program provides for field trips and cultural experiences at such institutions as the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore Museum of Art, the National Aquarium in Baltimore, the Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore Symphony, Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Center Stage, Arena Stage and other sites free of charge for over 26,000 students in 18 Chapter 1 schools.

It supports 35 retired administrators and teachers to work in small-group settings in 35 schools.

In local Chapter 1 schools, $1,400 more than the local expenditure is provided each student for educational remediation and enrichment.

We have Parent Advisory Councils in all 81 Chapter 1 schools.

Additional money is provided Chapter 1 schools to purchase essential equipment and supplies and to conduct staff development activities.

There is another factor associated with Chapter 1 schools that is not measurable: hope for our nation's dispossessed children.

As they struggle to succeed in the face of monumental societal odds, we shall not give up on them.

Samuel L. Banks

Baltimore

The writer is director of Compensatory Education and Funded Programs in the Baltimore City Department of Education.

Class competency

Are all fearful teachers incompetent? I think not.

Wiley Hall always causes me to examine my thoughts. His Nov. 30 column gave me the opportunity.

He said that teachers' attitudes and lack of competence need to be addressed.

He inferred that there are two separate groups of teachers: those who are fearful and incompetent and those who recognize that most kids come to school eager to learn.

I agree that most of my students come to school if not eager to learn, at least ready to learn. Also there are many who we are able to encourage to learn.

However, no amount of instructional competence on my part changes the fact that we have disruptive students who, day after day, inhibit and damage a learning environment.

Teachers spend precious time on disruptive students -- phone calls home, parent conferences. . . Yes, we understand and care that these disruptive students often come to school "laden with burdens." However, we are mandated to teach all students, and we are held accountable to do so.

If Mr. Hall could only see what happens to those students who are there to learn.

They, like their teachers, get tired of the disruptive behavior, the endless time taken away from them. Most important of all, they, too, are in fear of these disruptive students.

The schools did not define all kids as prison bait by putting in a ZTC school police system, they are simply responding to the reality of the situation. A student who will carry a weapon to school doesn't belong there no matter how misguided he may be.

Mr. Hall is a master of the written word, but euphemistic phrases -- such as an educator trained in crisis intervention, instead of school police -- are at best absurd. Don't cloud the issue by attacking our competency and concern for all of our students.

Marie Cilemi

Severn

School hassles

The Baltimore City school system is going to pot. You send your children to get an education and they get a hassle.

First, they can't wear certain clothing, and they get sent home on every little whim.

If they are late and don't have their school ID, they are sent home, and while on the way to school they have to deal with rude and discourteous bus drivers who don't want to drive them to school, anyway.

. . .Let's say they get to school, they have to be their own security guard and guard their life and their belongings, because the administrators sit idly by and do nothing.

My son has had his lock stolen off his locker and his jacket stolen from the eighth grade administrator's office, and no one wants to do anything about it.

The principal of this school says I as a parent should keep buying locks so that they can keep being stolen. I don't think so.

Fill out a security report with the security officer, says the principal, so that the paper work gets filed in file 13.

Please tell me what's the use of going through this hassle when nothing gets done?

Maybe someone will read this and find a solution.

Yvonne Maria Wilson

Baltimore

Calvert School Rx

The Calvert-Barclay School experiment has been a resounding success -- so much so that the experiment may be widened to later grades.

Its message for educators wishing to improve minority inner city education is four-fold:

* Beef up primary education as never before. Motivate students while they are young and impressionable. A good foundation will make later teaching eminently more successful.

* Recruit enthusiastic, able, intelligent teachers who also have the gift of inspiring desire for learning and a feeling of specialness. Don't stint on the salaries required to attract such individuals.

* Create a unique learning environment and ensure that teachers have the tools for success.

* See that teachers teach their hearts out simply because they love being good at their craft -- and because they are rewarded for their efforts.

The way to quality education is the Calvert-Barclay way. Educators and administrators should forgo useless, costly computers and other gimmicks and concentrate on attracting skillful, caring, humane people who teach the old fashioned way.

There is no substitute for an excellent individual teaching his best.

Jill Morris

Baltimore

Holiday strike

I was relieved to hear that Bill Clinton intervened in the American Airlines strike.

The strike had been going on for about a week and people were starting to worry that their plane tickets, which they had held for almost a year, would not get them anywhere on Thanksgiving weekend.

Although the strike got its point across, I think it was unfair for them to strike during the busiest travel time of the year.

If the strike had not been stopped there would have been havoc in the airports and on the roads over Thanksgiving. For some people Thanksgiving is the only time during the year when they can see their families.

It was good for the president to step in, because it was in the best interest of the majority of people.

Although many don't agree with the things Bill Clinton does, I think he is always concerned with what the majority wants.

I just hope that this airline strike does not start a trend of causing interference during holiday seasons.

Matt Feldman

Ellicott City

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