New Math Approach Isn't New to Art Teachers

Regarding the opinion-page column "Learning to Love Math," July 30: I was fortunate to receive art education throughout my schooling. This comes to mind now as I see art and music programs being cut all over the country. Project IMPACT, described in the column, is about improving math achievement. Some of the methods are very familiar: "cognitive reasoning with shapes, colors, and sizes" and "tell me about this picture." For decades, art teachers have been doing exactly this, and more, without special funding or enhanced teacher training. The irony is, of course, that because this is described as a math program, it is seen as innovative and gets attention. Why not look to the expertise of art educators to encourage ways of thinking and looking at the world for all of our students in all of their studies? Barbara F. Towl, Dover-Foxcroft, Maine

Returning balance to government Regarding the article "Limiting of Terms Gains Backing," July 29: Since the president is limited to eight years, the national government is already unbalanced in favor of Congress. Term limits would return balance to the government. In California last fall the special interests that own the legislators put a massive amount of money into defeating term limits. The pro-limits group won because it is a good idea. Steven A. Remer, Pleasanton, Calif.

Fertilizing the Everglades The article "Huge Environment Project Aims to Save Florida's Everglades," July 30, describes a threat to the Everglades as "phosphorus pollution from pesticides in farm-water runoff [which supports] new plant species which overpower native plants." I presume that the writer means fertilizers, not pesticides. Pesticides are used to control unwanted vegetation, insects, or fungi. Bluntly, they kill. Therefore, they are unlikely to cause increased growth of any plants and usually have such poor soil mobility that they could not be transported by water over the distances implied. Fertilizers, on the other hand, are used to maximize the yield of the crop and have a high soil mobility. This sloppy use of terminology wrongly indicts a class of very useful chemicals with an excellent safety record. Ignacio M. Larrinua, Indianapolis

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