At 04:52 PM 1/19/98 EDT, Sue L wrote:
>Let's stop the leftist attitude of blaming poverty,
>society or other "stuff" for the education problems and let's lay the
>proble where it is, in the educational system, with teachers, parents
>and students.

Although I believe as you do, Sue, that all of us, educators, families, and
individual learners, are part of the problem, that to think that poverty is
not a factor or an issue is to ignore some pretty important dynamics in how
learning becomes available, to whom, based on what assumptions.

>Let's stop all this feel-good self-esteem stuff
Why? Again, I agree that self-esteem without standards is pretty useless.
But so are standards without self-esteem.

> I really feel that Guiliani has a
>point, maybe he is just a little too extreme, but some modification
>of open admission should be an order.
hard to know what that means . . . again, I agree that probably any system
can stand improvement . . . in this case, what would you suggest?

>Sorry for my strong views, but
>this is what I feel would help this inherent problem.
Hope this place will always be an environment open to "strong" views  . . .
 Hooray, Sue, for risking flaming to get some ideas out there . . . I guess
it's my own "leftist" tendencies (as in those principles which led to the
American Revolution, balanced by my appreciation for entrepreneurial good
sense) that lead me to hope that we would continue to include here a wide
range of clearly formulated,  well-supported, and provocative exchanges . .
.  to me, labelling as "leftist" or "rightist" (or any other "-ist") . . .
. or beginning sentences with "Let's stop . . ." (attempting to neutralize
an opposing point of view without good supporting facts and warrants) . . .
while it might be provocative . . . can distract from the open exchange of
thought.  I believe this to be as true here as it is in our classrooms.

This question Mayor Guiliani's comments have opened, as to who has "access"
to education (including the institutionalized ways in which colleges have
traditionally, unconsciously, made it harder for some than for others) --
is a VERY important discussion . . . To my mind, it is the one on which the
very future of our world hinges . . .

Write on!
                                Neal Steiger
                      NH Community Technical College
                        379 New Prescott Hill Road
                            Laconia NH  03246
                phone:  603-524-3207   fax: 603-524-8084
          "Even a planarian worm can learn."  --Eunice Cornish