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Letters to the editor - 5/1/03

May 01, 2003

Good program left behind



To the editor:


Last summer I had the opportunity to participate in the creation of a new business education completer program for Washington County.

Along with several other business-education teachers, we spent quite a bit of time, effort, and yes, money, creating a marketing and management business education completer program. It would have benefitted Washington County students by giving college-bound students information that would give them a head start on bachelor's degree programs in the business field.

The program also would have permitted students not planning to attend a four-year school to get credit for classes at Hagerstown business and community colleges if they met minimum requirements at the end of their high school courses. In addition, students who planned to go into the workforce after high school could have chosen a third option of finishing the program through an internship working with local businesses, so that they could choose a better-informed career path.

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Last fall the program was approved to go into effect this coming September. Now, it has been shelved. In addition, the business education program in Washington County is being cut, with at least one position lost at Williamsport High School. Ostensibly, these and other cut-backs are due to the recent implementation of the unfunded "No Child Left Behind" mandate handed down by the federal government.

While the "No Child Left Behind" initiative is commendable, the WCBOE and other school districts should not slash other programs that are currently embedded in the education system.

The focus of the NCLB is based on a basic comprehension skills test, and school districts are being forced to spend additional money on programs designed to teach students how to pass this test.

It makes for great political headlines, but students planning to extend their education at two- and four-year schools are being short-changed. How can they make informed decisions about what they want to do if the information needed to make those decisions is withheld?

They will be getting no preparation for the educational and life decisions which lie ahead. No one has ever graduated from college with a degree in general education, and no one ever will. Students must be given every opportunity to explore their interests. Unfortunately, that opportunity is being eradicated from the school system due to a misguided attempt to "re-focus" public schools.

Without suitable curriculum choices at the local public school level, I'm afraid students with higher aspirations will not be able to fairly assess the options that lay before them. This could easily be avoided through the proper planning and implementation of school programs designed to give students the information they need to make earlier career choices.

Leon Weyant
Fayetteville, Pa.




A kid's game



To the editor:


I want to remind all the parents, volunteers and Little League officials that area Little League started recently. Please remember that the game is for the kids, not adults.

Let the kids play the game the way we remember playing. We, as adults, should be doing nothing but giving praise, encouragement and support to the kids. Adults do not need to be criticizing the kids as they play, or the volunteers that give their time of their own free will.

Baseball is still the national pastime so let's teach the kids to love the game as much as we did growing up. Play ball.

Kurt Raios
Hagerstown

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