Letters to the Editor
Vocational-Agriculture Students and Future Farmers of America members Cibola High School Yuma, Ariz.
As current vocational-agricultural students and devoted members of the Future Farmers of America, we are deeply concerned about the National Research Council's view of agricultural education ("'Literacy' Urged for All Students on Agriculture," Sept. 21, 1988).
We agree that everyone should be knowledgeable about agriculture. But classwork in this field should not be required.
If students are not willing to give a significant amount of time and effort, then such a requirement would not help vocational-agriculture programs or the ffa Rather than expanding interest in agriculture among students, it would dilute the attention given to those who are interested in an agricultural career.
We also believe that teachers should not have to take an agriculture class. If they are teaching English, for instance, why do they need to study agriculture?
If they are going to teach vocational agriculture, then of course they should take such classes.
The ffa is one of the best programs we have for students. Many people who have graduated from high school are still involved in helping the ffa chapter to which they once belonged--and of which their children are now members.
Those who believe ffa members are afraid of being called "farmers" are wrong. Membership is voluntary--and we're proud to be called farmers. We have something that will help us with our future, while those who mock the ffa often do not.
The ffa emblem and creed are two great pieces of work. Why change them when they have served their purpose since 1928?
The organization's name tells everything ffa stands for, just as the emblem shows what the group is about.
Instead of pleasing us, the proposals for changes have made us mad.
Erin Brumbaugh Wood County Schools Parkersburg, W.Va.
I was enraged when I read the comments Gov. Arch Moore of West Virginia made at the annual West Virginia Teachers Forum (State Journal, Oct. 12, 1988).
According to the Governor, the state's teachers wouldn't be so upset with West Virginia's educational system if they read less about it.
His type of leadership has forced hundreds of teachers to leave the state in the hope of acquiring some semblance of financial security, an insurance plan that pays its bills on time, and a stable retirement fund.
They also left to find systems where teaching children is more important than filling out time-consuming reports having little or no relevance to education or cost effectiveness.
As an educator in West Virginia, I feel demeaned knowing that my state chose--and continues to follow--such a leader.
To Mr. Moore, ignorance is indeed bliss.
Larry A. Parsons Library Media Specialist W.F. West High School 342 S.W. 16th St. Chehalis, Wash. 98532
I would like to request information from your readers for a book on which I am currently working.
Entitled A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the School Library: A Treasury of Anecdotes, Quotes and Other Happenings, the book will be published by Libraries Unlimited.
One purpose of the book is to collect material that could be used by librarians and other educators at speaking engagements, pta gatherings, school-board meetings, and other occasions.
Another purpose is to provide an emotional outlet for those working in schools.
I would especially like to receive humorous, inspirational, and touching anecdotes drawn from educators' experiences.
Quotes and interesting historical facts are also welcome, along with ideas for cartoons that could be made into transparencies.