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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.
January 5, 1995
My compliments to James Benning for his insightful coverage over the past several months of contract negotiations at El Camino College. As he captured in his summary article of our settlement, the salary agreement is far from an equitable one. Although 3.25% may seem quite generous at first glance, 1.25% of that amount was made possible by a pay cut for those faculty who teach summer school. Even after factoring the 3.25% into the salary schedule, the fact of the matter is that the more one teaches summer classes the less one makes relative to past teaching pay practice, to the point where after three years of teaching summer school classes a faculty member actually loses money on the deal.
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.
February 9, 1993
Hurrah for McMillan's column against teaching homosexuality to first-graders in our public schools! All parents, rich or poor, should have the choice of when and how to teach their own offspring about both heterosexual and homosexual behavior as well as other things about life in our complex society. If the public schools must teach various opposing values, then it is an invasion of the parents' personal privacy for the state not to provide them with choices in education that now only the rich or the middle class (with increasingly great sacrifice)
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