Letters from the Issue of March 14, 2002

University of Miami administrators called for downfield interference

John Johnson

Kingwood, Texas

There's a Flag on the Play

But what's this? The coach himself called it! Concerning the Andre Johnson case, what an outrage! But not a surprise. This is a problem not only at the University of Miami but at many other schools across the nation. I hope Coach Coker would have the sense to do what the administration did not: Suspend Johnson for the upcoming season. Any other student would be nailed to the wall for cheating twice.

This is an embarrassment to UM and to academia in general. But as the saying goes, money talks....

Gary Brunette

Colorado Springs, Colorado

A Proud University Tradition

Bond them out of jail, bend the rules, and build a better draft pick: It isn't surprising to see that the University of Miami is continuing its long-established tradition of supporting lowlifes, thugs, sociopaths, and convicted criminals in its athletic programs. How wonderful for the students to see the rules and regulations modified, overturned, and set aside for the benefit of the football program. Administrators and everyone involved should take pride in their decision. It provides an excellent example of what students should expect in the real world. Parents should also be proud to send their children to such a fine institution of higher learning.

I'm sure this story will probably be buried and forgotten as it is not conducive to recruiting. What does it matter anyway? The true importance of athletics far outweighs the necessities of a sound education. Sell the tickets. Market the Canes' gear. Prime these young men to make it in the world of professional football.

Nice job, UM. You have set the academic standard that all should follow.

Michael F. Heintzelman

Las Vegas, Nevada

Droll Model

It'll pay to study as hard as you play: Thanks, Andre! You are a shining example to all the little football stars out there. Why work hard in school when all you have to do to get through is cheat? Better yet, have your girlfriend cheat for you. How fair is this to the other students who work long hours to pay their way through school?

I realize football is a huge business, but I thought UM and Coach Larry Coker were more principled than to let something like this go by with a slap on the wrist. Andre, keep up the good work. You just might break the locks on those doors and let all the old Hurricane skeletons out of the closet.

M. Weinert

Omaha, Nebraska

Take My Money, Please!

And thanks so much for squandering it: Rebecca Wakefield's article "Resegregation Now, Resegregation Forever!" (February 28) shows us what a mess public education is today. One thing is certain, though: Charter schools are not the answer to our education problems.

The difference between charter schools and public schools is simply the bureaucracy that runs them. The money for both comes from taxpayers forced to pay into a system whether they use it or not and whether they like it or not. There is nothing wrong with private schools that are directly accountable to their consumers (parents), but under the current setup the funds for these so-called charter schools will be taken from taxpayers and fed to these corporations headed by former school-system bureaucrats. This is not privatization by a long shot. This is merely the shifting of power, money, and accountability.

The term "public school" is also misleading. These schools, as we have seen, do not belong to the public. Public schools belong to politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists, and union bosses. A more accurate label for these schools would be "government schools." The voucher system is no panacea either. It will only serve to make private schools also beholden to the government for their money.

The ultimate losers in this battle of bureaucracy vs. corporations are the students and their parents. Regardless of which system they choose (public or charter), their money will be taken by force. If you think force is too strong a term, try not paying your school-board taxes because you don't like the way your money is being spent and see what happens.

There is no easy solution or quick fix, but it's obvious we must find a way to empower parents by giving them more control over their children's lives and education. The only solution that ultimately will favor students and their parents is the dismantling of the government school system. If parents weren't taxed into oblivion they would have the money to put their children in the school of their choice, not Mr. Bush's choice.

Who do you think has the children's best interests in mind: A) perennial union boss Pat Tornillo; B) influential and connected lobbyist Ron Book; C) a bunch of politicians dependent on campaign contributions; D) a bunch of overpaid bureaucrats who otherwise wouldn't qualify to work the night shift at a Wendy's drive-up window; or E) the parents?

If you get the answer wrong, blame it on that government school you attended.

Emiliano Antunez


A Deal, but Not a Done Deal

Care to put in a bid on a school? I read with interest Rebecca Wakefield's article "Resegregation Now, Resegregation Forever!" (February 28) concerning the charter-school movement in South Florida. The article was timely and well written. Ms. Wakefield, however, may have gotten a little ahead of herself when she wrote that "Miami Shores will open a high school in 2003 to be run by Chancellor Beacon Academies."

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