Letters to the Editor
Barbara Landis Chase Headmistress The Bryn Mawr School Baltimore, Md.
While I appreciated tremendously Roland S. Barth's fine commentary (''Can We Make a Match of Schools and Universities," Education Week, Nov. 28, 1984), I think Mr. Barth approaches the issue from only one side of the equation.
Mr. Barth's premise is that, no matter who does the initiating, colleges and universities are the providers of services to schools. This assumption, indeed, is so prevalent in American education that few stop to ask why the converse cannot be true.
At the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, we have challenged this assumption and have initiated and developed several programs with nearby Goucher College in which our resources and expertise as a school are made available to the mutual benefit of both institutions. Credit must go to Goucher administrators for their ability to rise above the traditional (and patronizing) notion that higher education has the expertise and schools are always the beneficiaries.
The expertise and human resources in our nation's schools are potentially of great value to institutions of higher learning. The Bryn Mawr programs are but two examples of how this "role reversal" can work.
Our schools and colleges are part of a continuum, not a hierarchy. At every level of education, from preschool through graduate school, there are people, programs, and resources that can serve or strengthen other levels of education. Perhaps if we were to acknowledge this fact, we would go a long way toward enhancing the professional growth and self-esteem of our nation's teachers.
Jon E. Hagen Principal Southview Elementary School Chippewa Falls, Wis.
In your article about birth rates among teen-agers ("Births Among Teens Have Decreased Over Past Decade," Education Week, Nov. 28, 1984), you cite a report released by the National Center for Health Statistics. Conspicuously absent from the comments and statistics is any reference to the effects of abortion on those statistics.
I suspect that any time a society acts violently against a segment of its population, the resulting studies should reflect the effect of such violence. The slaughter of our unborn young indeed has an effect on the reported births in this country.
Perhaps the report does address the effects of abortion on birth rates and it was simply overlooked in your article. However, if the issue was not addressed, then that report is simply another useless piece of incomplete information.
Editor's note: Stephanie Ventura, author of the report in question, says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services plans to issue a report, "Estimates of Pregnancies and Pregnancy Rates, United States, 1976-81," that will include information on abortions and miscarriages. Information on abortion rates was not available for the 1970-81 time period covered in her analysis, according to Ms. Ventura. The new report will be available in January from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Room 721H, Hubert Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201.
The Rev. Lawrence M. Deno Superintendent of Schools Diocese of Ogdensburg Ogdensburg, N.Y.
I am writing to complain about the biased headline that appeared with a recent article about private-school pupil participation in Chapter 2 funds as studied by the Washington firm of E.H. White and Company (''Private-School Pupils Chapter 2 Winners, Urban Schools Losers, Study Confirms," Education Week, Dec. 5, 1984).
While the article does indicate that further study of the funding of Chapter 2 for private-school pupils was undertaken by the U.S. Education Department--which issued its own analysis of the amount of money provided for pupils under Chapter 2'--the headline does not reflect that the ar ticle discusses both studies and not simply the first.
I hope that in the future your headlines will be more representative of your articles.
Sylvester Kohut Jr. Dean, College of Education Kutztown University Kutztown, Pa.
I was appalled to learn through the media recently that the New York Jets defensive end, Mark Gastineau, was involved in a New York City discotheque brawl and was sentenced by Criminal Court Judge Alan Marrus to serve not as an inmate, but as a "teacher" to adolescent offenders at a Rikers Island juvenile facility.
Many teachers are offended when so-called "celebrities" are punished for crimes by being "sentenced" as teachers for some community human-service agency or prison program. Would Mr. Gastineau be assigned to serve 90 hours as a surgeon at Mt. Sinai Hospital? Would he be sentenced to serve as a public defender in the district attorney's office in Queens? No!
What will youthful offenders learn from him--that crime pays? Will they learn that if you are a celebrity or a person of means, you can get off easy for an act of violence? The jury should have recommended a punishment or "rehabilitation" experience worthy of Mr. Gastineau's talents (18.5 quarterback sacks)--like 90 hours of protecting the homeless and starving street people of New York City from the muggers and thugs who prey on the helpless.
Teaching is a beautiful profession! It shouldn't be seen as punishment by soft-hearted judges. It is a privilege to teach youths--even young folks who have special problems like the kids at Rikers Island. As educators, we should protest the "help" we are getting from well-meaning but uninformed officers of the courts.