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Licensure Nightmares

Letters published December 6, 2001

Ohio's education equation doesn't add up:

I read with interest your piece "Teaching Teachers" [November 8]. This is an angle of Ohio's education equation that has been largely overlooked by the media. Because I am a tenured teacher with 22 years of experience in Ohio, I have a unique view of education, and I must say it's not a pretty picture.

The constitutionality of Ohio's funding of public schools has been on the courts for 10 years. Our Republican legislature in Columbus does not seem to be interested in anything except unfunded mandates and testing, testing, testing. Meanwhile, the new licensure requirements do not seem to be an improvement on the old certification standards, and universities had to go through revamping all their education courses to meet these requirements -- with no additional funding to do so.

There does not seem to be any commitment on the part of Columbus to do anything except create a new funding structure for universities, to be delivered on the backs of teachers who, under new licensure standards, will have to return to university every three years for more coursework.

A couple of weeks ago, I met with my district licensure adviser, and we discussed my professional plan. Because of a snafu that occurred with my certification two years ago, I missed the deadline to be grandfathered in on the old certification standards. At that time, I thought I might be better off getting dual licensure (I am already certified to teach special education). I spoke with an adviser at my alma mater, where I received a B.S. in education and an M.Ed in special education. I was told that, in order to get licensed to teach fourth grade, I would need to take 82 hours of postgrad credit.

Ohio's commitment to education at the state level is nothing but a shell game of pass the buck, and in another 10 years' time, we will not be 48th in the nation -- we will be dead last.

C. Hill

Does Middlefield hold more secrets?

I wanted to thank Sarah Fenske for writing "While the EPA Slept" [November 15]. I had no idea what was going on, but now something else makes sense, which Sarah completely missed in her story.

Last year, Middlefield put up a new water tower behind the high school, which is at the other end of town from where all this contamination is. I found this strange, because it required them to dig up all the streets and pretty much redo the whole water system. When I read your story, it suddenly all made sense. You see, if you go out to the Carlisle plant, about 100 feet or so behind the property is the old Middlefield water tower, and at the base of the old water tower are the old wells. That's why it's such a big secret: They may have poisoned the whole town, and they are trying to hide it.

George Roettger

Headbangers earn their honorary Ph.D.s:

I've lived in Cleveland all my life, and I know the rock scene very well. I like Chimaira, and it's great to see a local band do well. Jason Bracelin's article, "Hell to Play" [November 15], praised a band that has worked hard for three years. However, Jason must remember that Cleveland and Chimaira will only benefit from the fact that other bands are doing well.

Here's my point: Jason's hatred for Mushroomhead is deplorable. I know that they help many bands, including Chimaira. Mushroomhead has been together for eight years, and it has lots of bands open up for it. Local bands, radio stations, and the ever-so-important Jason Bracelin should get behind them for the good of Cleveland. After the 15 years each of those guys has been in a band, they should get Ph.D.s in the school of hard knocks. How much time did you do, Jason Bracelin? Do you have your Ph.D. in journalism? I thought not.

Tom Kilcoyne

There's too much doubt to let him die:

I just read "Unluckiest Man on Death Row" [November 22], and I have to say that justice blinked again. Although Joe D'Ambrosio looks big and tough enough to carry out such a crime, there isn't proof enough that he had a hand in it. And about his background of two DWIs: Our President has one himself. I wonder if this case is one of the reasons the Cleveland homicide unit boasted an 80 percent "crime-solve" rate. D'Ambrosio was the convicted killer, yet there was no evidence of blood or tissue of any kind found -- not on the bat or on the truck. That doesn't smell right to me, especially with as much blood as the victim lost.

George M. Sendrey
San Diego, California

Commence with the e-mail campaign:

Job well done on "Mr. Big Stuff" [November 8]. Around here, we never get to read the truth. I'm in the process of e-mailing this article to everyone I know in Eastlake. Thank you, Sarah Fenske and Scene. It's about time somebody had the guts to tell the truth.

Susan McCullough

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