Letters to the Editor

Charter schools keep some young families in the city. Here, Mastery seniors are seen at their spring graduation.
Charter schools keep some young families in the city. Here, Mastery seniors are seen at their spring graduation. (CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer)
Posted: September 23, 2013

Parents find a way

The poll results on views of the city schools do not tell the whole story ("In poll, young adults sour on city schools," Sept. 18). Of course, people will sour on schools when budgets are being aggressively slashed and people feel that children are being abandoned by the School District, city, and state. But parents often find meaningful school options for their kids by traveling from all corners of the city, while others commute into Philadelphia from Pennsylvania and New Jersey suburbs. Some of our families are actually moving here to shorten their children's commutes. The Inquirer rightfully sheds light on many of the problems in the city's schools, but it would be serving the community even more by showcasing bold educational options available to families right here - before families pack up and leave town.

Nancy Golumbia, Philadelphia

Rhee realities

Michelle Rhee is good at getting headlines, but she's really not a reliable authority on how to improve urban schools ("Education still in crisis," Sept. 15). The most charitable view of her stint in the District of Columbia is that she didn't stay long enough to make a difference. Given the lack of demonstrable progress during her tenure, and the chaos left in her wake, her commentary shouldn't be taken seriously. She takes gratuitous swipes at the teachers' union and offers such platitudes as "there should be a great teacher in front of every class." She's apparently being paid to go around the country offering similar brilliant insights.

Of course, a crisis offers opportunities for reform, and teacher unions sometimes do resist meaningful change. But without adequate resources, all you are doing is choosing among bad alternatives.

Laslo Boyd, Philadelphia,


Condo rule of law

There needs to be some clarification about condo owner associations that impose restrictions on pet owners ("Address pets peeve," Sept. 16). When a rule is changed, usually there is a 30-day period before it becomes effective, so that any resident of the condos can comment. In addition, if such a rule is changed as to pets, those pets owned prior to the rule change are usually grandfathered. As to a recent letter writer's concern about being subject to pet limits, condominiums are private and may have more restrictive rules and regulations than a municipality.

Ron Coates, Chadds Ford

Agency monicker

After reading of the recent call for better federal oversight of interstate bridge agencies, this thought comes to mind: Because of all the money the Delaware River Port Authority spent on projects unrelated to bridge maintenance and tolls, their name should be changed to the Delaware River Pork Authority. They can even keep the same "DRPA" signs.

Jack Wieckowski, Philadelphia

Laws unenforced

One hoped that The Inquirer might offer some new solution to mass shootings ("Massacres too common," Sept. 16). No such luck. Once again it was just repetition of the old "gun control" mantra. Control how? With new laws on top of the thousands of existing federal, state, and local gun laws that are ignored by the criminal and mentally disturbed? Not only ignored, but unenforced. The Navy Yard shooter, Aaron Alexis, should have been prevented from legally buying his weapon under provisions of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act.

Nick O'Dell, Phoenixville, nickodell16@yahoo.com

A pleasant roar

It was interesting recently to see that a special production of The Lion King musical is being produced to make it more comfortable for people with autism. Modifications include making adjustments to the sound and lighting levels so that they will be less blaring and glaring. Actually, we could all benefit from such standards.

Joseph Carducci, Pittsburgh, carducci@hotmail.com

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