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Letters to the editor

December 04, 2003

Watch out for flying grades


To the editor:

In response to several articles the newspaper has printed in the past couple of weeks: I believe parents had better get informed about the decisions that the educators of this county are making.

Parents, are you aware that the weighted grading is about to be used so it will appear that your students are doing better than they really are, grade-wise? Washington County is concerned about stats - there is no academic value or reason they can provide for these changes.

Students will not learn more, nor will the content or material change - only the inflation of the grade.

When these grades reach colleges, those institutions could question whether all of the grades are inflated, not only the Advance Placement grades. You could have a student from another county who took the same course load and have quite a different GPA (lower), thus the inflation shows in the grading and questions present themselves. Who is going to be held accountable for making the decision or for teachers for doing what they were forced to do by their supervisors?

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As educators, you need to come back to what education is all about - teaching students, not stats or testing alone. Teaching must be for student learning, not for test scores.

Also note the changes that have been proposed to the world language classes. It makes no sense to force students to have burn out trying to master four or five years' worth of material in possibly three years. With four years at the high school level, your student could possibly test out and have college credit for foreign language in college a cost savings to the family. Ask current college students who have been in some of these four- or five-year classes. Education is supposed to be about students, not directors and administrators.

Parents, you need to be involved with the decisions that affect children's education, because they are our future leaders.

J.M. Unger
Hagerstown




Media try to undermine Bush


To the editor:

I was struck by the Nov 29 page A-2 headline (AP) "Bush Iraq trip image tough for rivals to match." But after reading the accompanying article and a companion one, "Iraqis complain...." one thing was clear: The rivals would have the full help and cooperation of the liberal media in trying to tarnish that image.

When the liberal media will go to Muzher Abd Hanush (does he even exist?) in his barber shop in Bagdad to get a negative quote you know they will go to any length to make any possible Bush positive a negative. And, of course, The Herald-Mail (the local political action committee for liberals and the liberal cause), will fall right into line as a willing accomplice.

But I urge you not to forget the welcome the American soldiers fighting for you and me in Iraq gave their commander-in-chief. They and their commander-in-chief know all too well the high cost of real freedom.

"O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife, who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life! America, America, may God thy gold refine, 'til all success be nobleness, and every gain divine" (Katherine L. Bates).

By the way, did you know that before becoming president, the commander-in-chief, George W. Bush, served his country honorably in the Texas Air National Guard?

Edward L. James
Hancock

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