Bush, Clinton, and Education

Contrary to the front-page article "Bush, Clinton Education Plans Look Similar - on the Surface," Aug. 25, there is much that differentiates the two candidates on this crucial issue.

All President George Bush has done for education was to call an education summit in 1989 to discuss the issue. It was Gov. Bill Clinton, then chairman of the National Conference of Governors, who co-chaired this summit, analyzed the many complex issues relating to a national education policy, and came up with an extensive list of recommendations. Although the "education president" approved these recommendations, his administration has done little to implement them. A Clinton administration will. Charles Harder, Encino, Calif.

American education continues to leave the public and the specialists dissatisfied. At the elementary and secondary levels a virtual government monopoly weighted by resistant entrenched unions opposes suggestions introducing a market economy in education. When vouchers for alternative education (private secular, religious, or home schooling) create realistic competition - or by any other means - then we can expect significant activity in the system to make its product competitive and attractive. New syste ms of accreditation testing and funding will have to be tried and no doubt some discarded. Let's apply our own best insights and experience to this aspect of our open culture. B. Peter Brandt Sorheim, Mt. Morris, N.Y. The GED - a second chance

Thank you for the article " `Second Chance' Test Celebrates 50th Year," Aug. 24, on the General Educational Development Test (GED). At age 7, I was placed in the "gifted program" in public school, but by the time I got to high school, I was pushed way beyond my limitations. Out of boredom and frustration, I quit school at age 16. Soon after I took the GED test and enrolled in a local community college. There I discovered my talent in graphic design. I am proud to say that at age 20, I will graduate with an associate in arts degree in graphic design. Until we pass genuine reforms in public education, GED testing will provide a much needed second chance for many people. Jeanine Cohoon, Atlanta Graduate students as teachers

I disagree with the author of the book "Imposters in the Temple," referred to in the article "Academia on the Whipping Post," Aug. 31, who contended that graduate students should do no teaching. I received my doctorate at a large research university and did considerable teaching in the classroom and in the student laboratory. Both students and professors evaluated me, and I am a better teacher as a result. Just where are the future academics supposed to learn how to teach - in front of empty classrooms? Stephen S. Hull Jr., Edmond, Okla.

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