Margaret Hiller Director Bridgeport Public Education Fund Bridgeport, Conn.
Your recent article on LEFs has done a terrible disservice both to existing partnerships between corporations and schools and to future partnerships. Historically speaking, schoolbusiness partnerships based solely on dollars have died the quickest. The most successful partnerships are those based on moving knowledge from the private sector to assist public school systems. In fact, the best partnerships are structured as joint ventures. On page 35, you have chosen to call local partnerships “Education Funds.’' The way you have listed each “fund’’ clearly implies that you are stressing dollars and that these dollars are available to one and all. This kind of approach, backed by sensational headlines in bold face that focus on dollars, perpetuates the idea that all schools need to do a better job is more money. I only wish your staff had taken the time to understand the history of partnerships. Then, maybe, just maybe, you could have brought a different message to both corporate America and millions of teachers. In addition, by publishing the names of local funds and foundations, you lead teachers to believe the answer to turning around their school systems lies outside of their own towns or cities. You have led too many teachers to believe that there is a climate in corporate America that simply gives money away. You failed to mention one critical fact in your listing of Local Education Funds--that these partnerships, not “funds,’' are locally focused. Finally, what advice would you provide to the teachers who--on an average of one a day--are now writing to me seeking funding?
Alan Dyson Executive Director The Cambridge Partnership for Public Education Cambridge, Mass.
Editor’s Note: The proper names of most of the organizations listed includes the word “fund.’' The article described a variety of activities that the education funds perform, in addition to making minigrants to local teachers. And it stated that the funds serve local needs. The names and addresses were published as a convenience to readers in those cities; apparently that led some teachers to think the organizations make grants outside of their local areas. We regret the inconvenience that may have caused teachers and local education fund officials.
Vulgarity Vs. Usage
Your recent article on good English [“Good English And Bad,’' September] made some good points but missed an important one. The kind of language used on most of our popular TV shows is more important than the issue of flaunt vs. flout. I am not a prude, but I am becoming irate at the vulgar terms being used. The worst part is that the more something is seen or heard on television, the more it is accepted. One of my students said it best: “If it keeps on, pretty soon you’ll be hearing the ‘f’ word on TV.’' Perhaps it is time to start worrying more about vulgarities creeping into our language and less about “correct’’ usage.
Dianne Everhart Moville, Iowa
Don’t Forget The Librarians
After reading your publication for a year, I agree that you are addressing educators in a way previously neglected. But I also observe that your publication, like many others in the education field, doesn’t seem to recognize the important role of the school library-media teacher. The use of the library-media teacher as a team player, a companion in instructional design, and a specialist in technology throughout the school program has not appeared in the articles I have read. Information power is becoming more and more important. There is no better place to convince students that continuing self-education is both necessary and pleasurable than in the library-media center.
Hilda Jay Mitchellville, Md.
In your story on the conflict over the “Impressions’’ reading series [“War Of Words,’' November/December], you describe Michele Peters as one whose “smile reflects the generous, patient nature of a woman who spends her days among small children.’' In the pictures of Peters, she is neither petite nor smiling. You describe Bob Isenberg as “a heavyset man with a penetrating gaze’’ and make a point of mentioning his vanity license tags, which have nothing to do with the story. Your physical descriptions alone tell me you are biased in your reporting. Edna Barnes Fort Smith, Ark.
As the author of “An Indian Father’s Plea’’ [September], I wanted to let you know that people have been calling and writing to me from all around the world to say how much they liked the article. I thought you might want to reprint an excerpt from a native prayer as my gift to all those who have been so thoughtful. May there be good health and healing for this Earth May there be Beauty above me, may there be Beauty below me May there be Beauty in me, may there be Beauty all around me I ask that this world be filled with Peace, Love, and Beauty. Robert Lake School of Education Gonzaga University Spokane, Wash.
A version of this article appeared in the February 01, 1991 edition of Teacher as Letters