Letters To The Editor
The Federal File column in your Oct. 27, 1982 issue reports that Curtis Wilkie wrote in an Oct. 17 article in the Boston Sunday Globe that President Carter somehow was not a staunch supporter of public schools. According to Education Week, Mr. Wilkie based his contention "on a dinner conversation" he had with the Carters in which they indicated that they planned to enroll Amy in one of the Washington, D.C., area academies.
As an educator and one whose daughter attended Hardy School with Amy and with other children of Carter administrators, I resent such faulty conclusions and implications. The United States has probably never elected a president so dedicated to public education as Jimmy Carter. This southern gentleman, by example, encouraged white families to send their children to predominantly black schools in an effort to stop white flight and to make a personal statement regarding integration.
If at some point in the education of their children, parents decide that the benefits of a particular private school outweigh those of the local public system, does that necessarily mean that those parents are not staunch supporters of public education?
As one who served in the public schools of Washington, D.C., for six years, I can vouch for many shortcomings of that system, and I do not believe that I would currently want my children to attend high school in the D.C. system. I have a daughter enrolled in a public school and, for very specific reasons, a son who attends a private Montessori school. Does this indicate only limited or tentative support for public education?
As a principal of a public school in Oregon, I see my life as dedicated to public education. As a father who witnessed great warmth and friendliness from the Carter and Powell families toward his daughter simply because she was a classmate of their children, I believe Jimmy Carter is a sincere friend to public education and admire his integrity and character.
Bob Kane Principal Creswell High School Creswell, Ore.
The Odden-Dougherty report, "State Programs of School Improvement: A 50-State Survey," covered in the Sept. 22, 1982, issue of Education Week, presented incomplete information about school-improvement initiatives in Connecticut. The report, which was sponsored by the Education Commission of the States, omitted five Connecticut school-improvement programs: administration training, curriculum-development efforts, school-planning requirement, effective-schools projects, and student-competency tests.
Mark R. Shedd Connecticut Commissioner of Education Hartford, Conn.
I just finished reading your Nov. 3, 1982, article entitled, "The Shadowy Empires That Beckon the Young."
My fellow educators might like to know about a book by Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman: Snapping: America's Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change (Lippincott, 1978).
Robert J. Schoonmaker Director of Elementary Education Valley Central Elementary Montgomery, N.Y.