Time to separate schools and state

Regarding your March 28 article "Petitioning to make all schools private": Having put two children through public and private schools, I can testify that parents have little to no control in public schools. My children had some good teachers, but they also had a few bad ones. Regardless, parents must accept any teacher assigned to teach their children.

In a public school system, parents and teachers must acquiesce to every educational fad, destructive or not, that is dictated to them from above. Worst of all, parents must endure the likelihood that the values they are trying to teach their children at home will be undermined at school.

Nowadays parents cannot even be sure their kids will be safe.

Democracy would be strengthened with a separation of school and state, just as religion has flourished without governmental control.

Free up the education system, and the US would see a vast improvement in student achievement, family cohesiveness, moral values, skill levels, and community spirit. We need a Declaration of Independence for our schools.

Kathleen Melonakos Wyoming, Del.

Hush recreational vehicles

Regarding "Strike against snowmobiles" (March 16) about Yellowstone's proposed ban on snowmobiles: Hallelujah! The National Park Service is finally coming to its senses.

It does take a lot of nerve to stand up to the big money that snowmobiles provide to local merchants. However, in the long run, the snowmobile's negative impact on air quality, ambience, and the now-unimpeachable evidence of their contribution to global warming, are damning indictments against this form of recreation.

The next step is to ban noise- and water- polluting jet skis in contained water areas for the same reasons. They also contribute to soil erosion in lakes.

Not only are these vehicles disrupting other vacationers, they are disrupting the wildlife that live in these areas, destroying their habitats, and creating stress in their environment. Haven't we taken enough land away from our wildlife without creating further stress?

Shelia Denne North Hollywood, Calif.

Weaker industrial unions ahead

Your March 27 article "Labor's place in New Economy" was refreshing in two ways. First, the writer points out that the tight job market, in other words shortage of workers relative to the demand for workers, has bestowed an added strength to organized labor in the short run. The second point relates to the longer run, the portents and future of the big industrial unions.

The specialists in the realm of labor movements, as noted in the article, are right: Unions will fall short of organizing the high-tech sector and exercising their clout. A few exceptions may be companies like Boeing, Goodyear, and General Motors.

Just a decade or so ago, there was a fervor to assimilate the so-called white-collar workers including elementary, high school, and college teachers.

The impact, however, of information technology, particularly the Internet, is such that a number of white-collar workers have transformed themselves into business entrepreneurs.

Which presents another conundrum for the strategists at labor unions: The more entrepreneurs there are, the less the growth in the union membership.

S. Benjamin Prasad Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

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Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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