Sunday, July 13, 2003

Readers' Views

Schools need unbiased look

I would agree it is not a good time for the government to cave to the National Education Association (NEA) lawsuit ("Don't cave to lawsuit," July 10). Furthermore, it is time for the government not to assume that the education establishment in this country is moving in the right direction philosophically. The federal government wants accountability for its money spent on education. The National Education Association is suing on the theory that states aren't getting enough money to be accountable even though they are getting $7 billion above last year.

The NEA has changed its philosophy over the past several years about what should be taught in schools and how it should be taught. Gradually, it has moved from more rigid and difficult subject matter to what has been labeled the life-adjustment concept of education. The new approach employs a more leisurely, less vigorous pace, according to some educators.

It is time for an unbiased appraisal of our educational system. NEA and state and federal departments of education should not do the examining. They should be examined. It appears we are at a crossroad where heroic efforts are needed.

Bob Taylor, Park Hills


Norwood project is faulty itself

In response to the article ("Study bolsters Norwood project," July 8), I'd like to point out a few things for the record. I was raised in the general vicinity of the proposed Rookwood exchange development. I grew up at the corner of Dacey Avenue and Smith Road, having lived there for over 20 years. The house I grew up in was torn down last year to make way for another development, The Cornerstone of Norwood.

The study indicates that such items as: faulty street arrangements with dead ends that have inadequate turn around space, home repairs done without permits, age of the houses and noise and visual pollution are a recent phenomenon. Quite the contrary.

I can remember when the first bulldozer came through to gouge a hole in the middle of Dacey Avenue for what is now Interstate 71. The now faulty street arrangements were approved over 30 years ago by the State of Ohio, the City of Norwood and by other government agencies all associated with the construction of Interstate 71. Why are they inadequate now when 30 years ago they were deemed to be appropriate? Most of the houses and buildingsare more than 75 years old. With the exception of the redeveloped area surrounding the old General Motors site, how many new structures, in particular homes, have been built in Norwood over the past decade? Finally, ever since Interstate 71 was constructed and completed, the area has not look as attractive. Yes, noise pollution has increased.

It's a shame to see such fine neighborhoods such as mine on Dacey and on Garland and Atlantic Avenues become fond memories. However, for a study to now create the illusion that what has been in place for more than 30 years is suddenly the fault of the remaining residents is extremely disingenuous.

Steve Boone, Mason


Did Lassie get new dog house as well?

The caption under the front-page picture on July 10 didn't say, but is there any truth to the rumor that Lassie got $10 million from Mayor Luken for a new dog house (with fire hydrant) to be built downtown?

Thom M. Shuman, Greenhills


Park board instills ownership in youth

It was certainly refreshing to hear a bit of positive news (July 8) about the Cincinnati Ballet and other Tristate cultural institutions providing learning opportunities for all the youth in our city. In addition, I would like to point out that the Cincinnati Park Board has been a huge part of youth development in Cincinnati for more than 75 years.

Three generations of Cincinnatians have experienced nature and the out-of-doors through park board summer day camps, school field trips, weekend hikes, scout programs and outdoor skills workshops. Last year more than 48,000 city residents benefited from these programs.

In 2003, 10,000-plus Cincinnati Public School students will participate in park board nature education programs in city parks near their schools. Park board naturalists design nature programs to help the students pass the state of Ohio proficiency exams. Students obtain firsthand experience in their own neighborhood parks on how we all connect with the natural world. So, not only do these programs help the students with their promotional tests, but they also instill ownership of their neighborhoods, thus making our communities cleaner and safer.

Cincinnati residents are extremely fortunate to have organizations such as the Cincinnati Ballet and Cincinnati Park Board. Many of the new, expanding suburban communities will not have such amenities for many years.

Let us continue to support our local youth by giving them opportunities to have different life experiences and help them grow into good future leaders of Cincinnati.

Ty Easley, Anderson Township

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