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January 4, 1986
Pat Thomson's story about the baseball autographed by Stan Musial was very moving and affecting. My own late father used an interest in sports to teach us about honor, integrity and grace under pressure. BYRON HARDIN Los Angeles
February 6, 1995
I see in The Times where those birds who run our schools have come up with a new plan to go back to basics in education. Actually, this is not a new plan at all--teaching our broods the subjects of reading, writing and arithmetic is one of the oldest plans that we've ever had in this county. It's what we used to teach our kids before the bureaucrats took over our schools. Now, I don't know whether this back-to-basics plan of theirs is any good, but as long as they plan to go back to the basics, I think they ought to make sure their back-to-basics plan is complete.
December 9, 1985
Arnold Beichman's article (Editorial Pages, Nov. 21) in support of Accuracy in Academia, the new right-wing watchdog organization that aims to smoke out Marxists on our campuses, is disturbing. I am one of those Marxist professors who would be deemed to be so dangerous, so I can speak from that point of view. Beichman and AIA claim that Marxists are one-sided and ideological--that Marxists aim to propagandize their students. Beichman is disturbed when Marxists mainly teach Marxism in their classes because he sees that as imbalanced, that each instructor ought to teach a variety of perspectives.
December 26, 1994
The article "Is Hands-On Learning Sending the Wrong Message?" by Arpi Sarafian (Voices, Dec. 19) expresses so well what is happening in the elementary schools of California today. Sarafian is right in her observations that the playground has been moved into the classroom and that many teachers are feeling angry and impatient that they are trapped in a system they cannot change. I am one of those teachers. I have taught for more than 30 years in kindergarten through 8th grade, currently 5th grade.
July 16, 1989
Regarding your June 11 Viewpoints column, "Should Defense Firms Switch From Swords to Plowshares?": Having done some business with defense contractors, I know that retraining workers on the production line is not a problem. That's a matter of a few weeks at most. The problem is in feather-bedded management. How is somebody going to learn to be competitive in the marketplace on a fixed-price item? In civilian production, cost overruns are not forgiven or accommodated. Cost overruns mean bankruptcies.
May 29, 1991
The article by Dianne Klein "In Constitutional Rights, Capistrano Senior Earns 'A' " (View, May 19) points out how small-minded some of these so-called "born-agains" really are. Mr. Peloza was hired by the (Capistrano Unified) School District to do one thing . . . to teach biology. Telling students that they will "go to hell unless they accept Jesus" is not part of the curriculum. May I suggest that he teach at some denominational school more suited to his views. It always strikes me as funny when people like Peloza (and the like-minded Operation Rescue clan)
October 18, 1992
As a former public educator, I applaud Garry Abram's article describing the "Building Better Characters" movement in education, but I believe the picture showing a student writing "I will not talk or leave my seat" will give readers the wrong message about the values currently being addressed by educators. Children are literal, and certainly this one knows he can and will get out of his seat and he will talk whenever he can get away with it. By writing the incorrect message, he is learning that authority figures manipulate and distort.
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