Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:
Concerning the Commentary "Outcome-Based Hype'' (Feb. 2, 1994): The article it uses in an attempt to discredit criticism of outcome-based education, William F. Jasper's "Outcome-Based Education: Skinnerian Conditioning in the Classroom'' (from The New American, Aug. 23, 1993), is the most intelligible and well-documented examination of O.B.E. to have been written.
If anyone wants the documentation, I will send it to them, since I am the author of "Back-to-Basics Reform or ... Skinnerian International Curriculum,'' which is based on official documents out of the U.S. Education Department's office of educational research and improvement, the office from which most of the components of O.B.E. emanated.
As far as Ann Herzer is concerned, the authors obviously do not know her or they would spell her name correctly. She has done extensive research on O.B.E., happening to live in a state [Arizona] up to its eyeballs in O.B.E. and in which most national O.B.E./Effective Schools conferences take place.
Please, educationists, when you try to discredit those who oppose O.B.E., do so with documentation, not childish labels.
Charlotte T. Iserbyt
To the Editor:
Your article on South Floyd High School ("A Rock and a Hard Place,'' Dec. 15, 1993) accurately described the sequence of events that began in the mid-1980's with the decision to build a high school on a mountain site. The process was slow, expensive, and wasteful.
The article, however, fell a tad short describing the state's new priority on oversight, which began shortly after passage of the Kentucky Reform Act in April 1990, and the special attention given to the Floyd County project. Our new state board for elementary and secondary education and the commissioner of education both were appointed in early 1991. Since then, the regulation governing school construction has been overhauled and strong controls have been established. The superintendent of the Floyd County school district was removed, and the school board was notified that it, too, would be removed if it did not pay close attention to the management of the district, especially the facilities program. This is the second year of a three-year improvement plan, and significant progress has been made.
Those of us who are responsible for the stewardship of Kentucky schools are determined to insure that the public gets a dollar in value for every dollar spent on school facilities and operations.
Thomas C. Boysen
Commissioner of Education
Kentucky Department of Education