Readers write: Important principles in education; How art divides us; Fairness and taxes

Letters to the editor for the April 25, 2016-May 2, 2016 weekly magazine.

Ann Hermes
Scott Gordon, CEO of Mastery Charter Schools, talks to students during a classroom tour at Frederick Douglass Middle School, which the charter operator took over in 2015..

Important principles in education

The March 28 cover story, “Education’s Mr. Fix-it?,” provides important food for thought. There are some basic principles, however, that should be kept in mind. Our society simply will not pay salaries to teachers that can compete with those of most high-level professions – we need to be extremely grateful for and respect the significant numbers of outstanding individuals who find much of their reward through enlightening young minds. Perhaps some unions have gone a bit too far, but we can find the proper balance. Secondly, public education must remain truly “public.” Education and health care are not discretionary purchases. They must be universally available in order to keep a strong society and economy.

Dr. Allan Hauer

Corrales, New Mexico

How art divides us

The March 21 Monitor’s View “From Timbuktu, an art crime provides a timeless lesson” describes a group charged with war crimes for the destruction of cultural monuments that they claimed were contrary to their theology. Just a few pages earlier, a different article (“On campus, a new civil rights era rises”) began with describing a university that removed a stained-glass window of a historical figure from a building because of students’ moral objections to the scene being depicted. How do we decide where to draw the line that makes these two events so different – one a moral victory and the other a crime?

Elaine Reynolds

Findlay, Ohio

Fairness and taxes

Regarding the April 11 Upfront column, “Simple good, fair better”: In baseball, whether a ball is fair or foul depends not on any intrinsic property of where the ball lands, but on rules agreed to by all players. In politics, nothing is agreed to by all. In taxation, as in all political realms, fairness lies at the very root of complexity. Fairness and simplicity cannot coexist.

Eric Klieber

Cleveland Heights, Ohio

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