Letters to the Editor 3/8

March 08, 2001

Letters to the Editor 3/8

Don't tell me I don't know what I am talking about

To the editor:

I'm responding to the article that was written about a budget hearing for the Washington County Board of Education. I don't like being told that I'm not telling the truth when in fact it is the truth. The information that I presented on behalf of the Smithsburg High School PTSA was accurate.

When Boyd Michael presented the concept of literacy teachers to the SIT team he was asked if these teachers would be working with students and the reply was "no," that will not be a part of their job.

He said they will teach the classroom teacher how to better teach the students. I would like to know who is teaching them how to teach reading. If they are being taught at workshops, why can't every teacher that needs these skills do the same and we could have these extra teachers for classrooms to lower teacher/pupil ratios in our schools.


I'm here to tell you that the Literacy Teachers do not work with students as was reported in the newspaper. They are teaching classroom teachers how to teach reading and writing strageties so as to raise MSPAP scores, and in future years, on High School Assessment Exams.

It doesn't make any difference who pays these teachers. Whether it's tax money or a grant, if they are not working with students, they are useless to our system at the high school level.

When the grant runs out then it becomes a tax money issue. Some of these teachers have already been in the system four years with no grant money, only tax dollars. I agree that all students must be taught to read at an early age (elementary School by third grade) not in High school or someone needs to be held accountable for not doing what they have been paid to do.

Jessie Unger

PTSA President

Smithsburg High School

Mooney's speech for Lincoln Day a masterpiece

To the editor:

I read The Herald-Mail Feb. 18 mention of the Lincoln Day Address delivered by State Senator Alex X. Mooney (Annapolis Notes: "Mooney Addresses Senate on President Lincoln") Unfortunately, your piece did not give Sen. Mooney's remarks their true justice.

As the Senate Minority Leader, I am granted the courtesy by the Senate President to select a Republican to deliver this annual address which celebrates the life and character of the Great Emancipator. Tradition within the Republican Caucus calls for a freshman senator to give this speech.

With the family and close friends seated in the Senate galleries, Mooney personalized his remarks, reflecting on President Lincoln's influence on him as a person and a legislator. Mooney delivered an eloquent address that will go down as one of the best Lincoln Day speeches in Senate history.

Even the Democrats agreed. Immediately following Mooney's speech, the distinguished Senate Majority Leader Clarence W. Blount stated:

"I rise to speak for the full Senate. I've heard thirty-one of these speeches, and I would rate this one right at the top of the order. Senator, I congratulate you, and thank you for a performance extraordinarily well done."

Mooney's speech was refreshing and from the heart. Contrary to your report, his "moment of glory" will stand the test of time - as his words were journalized in our Senate records and now remain a permanent part of Maryland's rich history.

Martin G. Madden

Senate Minority leader

Maryland General Assembly

Annapolis, Md.

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