The Case for Privatizing Schools
In regards to "A Private Education for Every Resident" (May 6), I find that Americans' frustration and disappointment over the failure of the public schools to educate our children is almost universal. Even the "good" schools are, by their own measurement, only mediocre.
In the free market, doing a poor job means losing customers and eventually going out of business. Schools that are independent of government funding must serve the needs of the students and families who pay for them. Private schools continue to thrive because they offer what parents want.
San Antonio's Robert Aguirre sees the problem in his city and offers the solution - a way for anyone to get a better education than the government offers. And his foundation is putting the means of making the choice into the hands of the people best able to make it - parents and students, not the government.
This process leads to the ultimate solution to our failing government school system: privatization, the separation of education from state (and federal) government. Education is improved with competition, and parenting is improved by taking responsibility and making choices.
In "Remembering Corporate Welfare" (May 14), you err in charging that publicly funded logging roads are subsidies to private industry. Logging roads which serve to access federal timber (as well as meet other administrative and recreational purposes) are rightly constructed at federal expense.
The value of standing timber is determined by a number of factors, one of which is its accessibility. The timber purchaser's road-building costs would be directly reflected in a proportionally reduced bid price on standing timber. This fact also holds true on private lands, and is known to several million landowners who have sold timber.
Stephen W. Weber
Saving baseball history
In "Take Me Back to the Ballpark" (May 8), the writer proposed that if Boston builds a new stadium it does not need to destroy Fenway Park. I concur with all the ideas brought up. As a Chicago Cubs fan, I think it would be a travesty if they did to Wrigley Field what they did to Comiskey Park.
Our choices for these projects would keep in mind future generations of fans who could see the unique qualities that Fenway and Wrigley have today. And if Chicago ever decides to build another stadium for the Cubs, it could follow Boston's example. We do not always have to destroy that which is part of our history.
Rock Island, Ill.
Like many rational and good-natured Western commentators, David Newsom in "How Must PLO Renounce Its Charter" (May 13) seems quite willing to accept Arafat's multiple excuses for not following Oslo's most basic - and symbolic - agreement: the mutual acceptance of Israeli and Palestian claims to exist.
Israel has already given land - which is both concrete and symbolic. Meanwhile, the PLO still talks about the "tactical" use of the peace process to "liberate" land. The PLO has not changed its charter calling for Israel's destruction and the return, as Mr. Newsom notes, of Jews to their "original countries."
Given the PLO's profound reluctance to accept Israel's right to exist in any borders - which may represent their problems with grass-roots support - one would expect more understanding of the democratically elected Israeli prime minister's call for the Palestian Authority to honor the Oslo treaty.
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