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Scholarship program has one agenda -- helping...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Scholarship program has one agenda -- helping children

Mike Bowler's Nov. 25 Education Beat article on the new private scholarship program in Baltimore contains a couple of errors.

Mr. Bowler is correct that the program founders Ted Forstmann and John Walton have put $100 million into the National Children's Scholarship Fund effort, with $1 million set aside for Baltimore.

However, two mistakes need to be corrected.

First, the local affiliate of the program is no longer called the Children's Educational Opportunities Foundation of Baltimore. We have changed our name to the Children's Scholarship Fund Baltimore.

Second, the program is not in the slightest bit political. Our mission is to provide parents a choice and kids a chance.

Mr. Bowler's statement, "if it (the scholarship program) turns out to be trial balloon for publicly funded vouchers, well so be it," does not reflect the vision of the local board of directors or the executive director.

We simply believe that parents deserve to choose from among the broadest range of educational alternatives.

Praise for the local CSF effort spans the political spectrum, with letters of support from Democratic U.S. Senators Paul Sarbanes and Barbara Mikulski, Democratic Congressman Ben Cardin, Republican Congressman Bob Ehrlich and Democratic state Sen.Nathaniel McFadden, as well as from Councilman Kieffer Mitchell. Finally, Mayor Schmoke expressed great support for the program when he announced it at a conference on October 29.

Our only agenda is children.

Suzanna Duvall

Baltimore

The writer is president of the Children's Scholarship Fund Baltimore.

Educators' challenge is to offer expanded options

The Nov. 29 editorial "High school report" addresses the problem of stagnating graduation rates in the United States, which is a major dilemma facing educators. While we can be proud of the fact that more students enter college in this country than other industrialized nation, it is important to recognize that those who are not going to college are the students who are not completing high school.

Students who plan to be employed right out of high school typically spend far less time on their studies than those who plan to attend college. Unfortunately, they see very little connection between what and how much they learn and their future success in the labor market. As a result, they quickly become disengaged and disenfranchised from the entire educational process.

The challenge for educators is to identify students who become "at-risk" at earlier ages and provide alternative educational programs that vary from the traditional, "one size fits all" approach to learning.

Alternative learning provides us with options that will help us retain these students in school and improve their academic performance and achievement. In addition, a career and vocational preparation component that includes an emphasis on interpersonal communication skills, decision-making and labor market dynamics will help students visualize the tangible rewards of a high school education at the same time they are being prepared for employment.

Kevin L. Ensor

Parkton

College Park's state aid is higher than other campuses

The University of Maryland campus at College Park claims that it cannot realize its potential because it is being held back by the University of Maryland System.

The College Park campus receives all state funding for most Ph.D. and many other academic programs because it has successfully used the University of Maryland system to prevent Baltimore-area campuses from establishing similar programs.

The College Park campus has used the University of Maryland System to get more state funding per student than any other liberal arts campus.

The system requires every campus to compare itself to several "peer institutions." Funding from the state for the College Park campus is closer to its peer institutions than any other liberal arts campus in the system.

The governor, the president of the Maryland Senate, and the secretary of Higher Education are all from Prince George's County and have been extremely generous in spending state money on the College Park campus.

If the College Park campus has not already achieved its potential with all of these advantages, it never will.

William G. Rothstein

Baltimore

The writer is a professor at the University of Maryland, BaltimoreCounty.

Review of 'Jolson' seems to have missed show's point

It was with a mixture of amazement and chagrin that I read J. Wynn Rousuck's review of "Jolson." Although it is clear that I sat at the same performance, I find it hard to believe that we saw the same show.

The show was immensely entertaining, well performed and altogether a most satisfying performance. Your reviewer completely missed the purpose of the show by endeavoring to find deeper meaning in the plot.

Doesn't she realize that this was primarily a vehicle for the Jolson songs?

The Sun has done a great disservice to the theatre-going public in Baltimore by sending a reviewer so completely out of touch with this type of theatre.

Bernard J. Sevel

Baltimore

Out-of-state giving to Maryland candidates

From The Sun's Dec. 1 listing of major campaign contributions, it seems that both gubernatorial candidates had over 128 major contributions from interests outside of the state of Maryland.

Perhaps our next gubernatorial race will be accompanied by advertisements from cities like Hollywood, Calif., Boston, Mass., Fort Worth, Tex., Springdale, Ariz., Madison, Wisc., and Punta Gorda, Fla. thanking Marylanders for the privilege of contributing to the outcome of our local political process.

Bill Burnham

Baltimore

Man is encroaching on widlife's habitat

I was displeased to see the photo (Nov. 25) of the deceased goose which caused the plane to abruptly land.

We have to remember that industrialization has basically run these birds and much of other wildlife out of their natural habitat. Seeing the remains of possums, deer, raccoons, and other animals as you are driving down a crowded interstate is another fine illustration of what man has done to the land that these beautiful creatures once called their own.

Enough is enough.

Valerie Ogunleye

Baltimore

Article was a reminder of'botched' Reagan projects

The Sun is to be congratulated for publishing Marianne Means' insightful article "A monumentally nutty proposal" (Perspective, Nov. 29) about the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project reminding us about the botched projects of his administration and that he left us the largest deficit ever.

She forgot to include, however, that one day while sleeping on the job in the White House he dreamt up another costly, dangerous, unworkable concept, namely Star Wars.

Bernard Ostrofsky

Baltimore

'Beloved' a box-office flop because of its star's ego

After reading the Nov. 29 article in Arts & Society section regarding the film "Beloved" and why it was a major flop at the box office, I think I can sum up the answer in two words: Oprah Winfrey. She has become the black Kathie Lee Gifford.

Black women cannot relate to her any more than white women can relate to the insipid, phony Kathie Lee. Ms. Winfrey is super-rich with an ego to match her bank account.

Esmarelda Evans

Baltimore

A protest against treatment of Dr. Jack Kervorkian

I'm writing to protest the treatment given to Dr. Jack Kevorkian, who should get a medal for helping people out of their misery. It's time we all try to get a law to okay euthanasia. Many poor people often have their entire savings wiped out trying to keep a loved one in torture for months and sometimes even years.

It cost over $30 billion in the United States to keep people in pain and also ruin their families. Why?

David A. Smith

Baltimore

Pub Date: 12/07/98

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