Monday, December 18, 2000

Callers give CPS 'F' on grade rule

        Be careful when you open your voice mail. 'Tis the season for giving ... bad grades.

        “Cincinnati Public Schools deserve a big fat F.” — Al Gleason, Mack.

        “Four years of straight D's and you still get a high school diploma? Call it a "Duh'-ploma.” — Fran Ruth, Northside.

        “The new rules letting kids play sports in the public high schools rate a D for "Dummies.'” — S.A. Light, Oakley.

        So went readers' reactions to my Friday column about a recent rule change by Cincinnati Public Schools' Board of Education. High school students can now have a D average (it used to be a C) and still play sports if they do extra work.

Easy street
               Here's the rub:

        The students don't have to improve their grades. Just do the work. Then they can play.

        They can maintain a D average throughout high school. After four years, they get a diploma.

        The rule change was proposed by board member Sally Warner. She insisted that the new rules do not “lower” standards. They “maintain” them.

        By any definition, the new rules lack an incentive to do better. And get an education.

        “Now, Cincinnati Public is just like many of the school systems in the 'burbs.” — Sue Wilson, Sharonville.

        “By lowering the bar, the schools reinforce the stereotype of the dumb jock.” — Bob Bates, West Chester.

        “Yet another flawed policy. Schools operate on layer after layer of flawed policies,” noted Craig Hartje of Anderson Township. “I'm not sure we'll ever know again which way is up.”

70 years in love
               Bob and Marie Fischer celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary Dec. 7. As I interviewed the Madeira couple for a Dec. 6 column about their long, happy marriage, I could not help noticing the great constants in their lives.

        They do things measured, not just in years, but in lifetimes. They have been married nearly as long as most people live. They have lived in the same house for 51 years. They are still in love.

        “They have stayed together that long because their love helps them pull together through good times and bad.” — Charlotte Conner, Midland, Ohio.

        “Your article about Bob and Marie Fischer was/is truly "newsworthy.' (Their) love will outlive us all and continue to flourish for many eons to come.” — Kirill Senoff, Lawrenceburg.

        “In this day and age of divorce, hate and loneliness, it's wonderful to pick up the newspaper and read of a never-ending love.” — Sheri B. (last name withheld by request), downtown.

        “In a world of so much ugliness, it was nice to start my day reading about a thing of beauty.” — David Klingshirn, downtown.

        George Stricker called from Hamilton to tell me about his bride of 64 years. “I call her, "My Marge.'”

        They met on his birthday in 1932. They were married Sept. 5, 1936. “She's the only girl I've ever loved.”

        George and Marge are both 87.

        “Everything about Bob and Marie Fischer brought back memories of Marge and me,” said George.

        “She's in a nursing facility now,” he added. “She has Alzheimer's. Been fighting it for 11 years. But she still recognizes me.”

        George visits Marge every day.

        “We're in love more now than ever.”


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