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LETTERS: Paladino, schools and academic discipline

Paladino's swagger is a bully's walk

I disagree with the description of Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino as "rough around the edges" ["Paladino's anger shared by NYers," Letters, Sept. 26].

A man who threatens to take a baseball bat to Albany, indulges in racist and pornographic humor and deliberately taunts his opponent, challenging his manhood, has all the earmarks of a true bully.

At a time when our schools are developing programs to prevent bullying, it is discouraging to see one running for the chief executive position in the state.

Does the Republican Party really want a bully in this position? I doubt it.

Anne Kingston


Private schools hold good lessons

I am in total agreement with the writer who said that Catholic and private schools should be part of the equation when discussing the future of education for our children ["Charter schools are an unproven fix," Letters, Oct. 5]. I am so very happy that "Waiting for Superman" has ignited this conversation. Educators, parents, the community and politicians all need to make a commitment to our children. We are failing them.

I pay very high school taxes in the Sachem Central School District. I also pay a very high monthly premium to send my child to a private school for an opportunity to succeed at a higher level. The structure, uniforms, value of the child, phenomenal teachers who love to teach and do it well, are just some of the things that make a difference. These schools should be available to all parents without bankrupting them.

They offer our world well-educated, responsible, driven and compassionate children. They have to be doing something right and should be a leader for other schools to follow.

Deborah Kelton


In my view, not even so-called academic doyens, advisers, experts or politicians have come close to the reason why the standard of education in the public schools has not measured up to what is expected of the No. 1 country in the world. Has anybody ever wondered why students from underdeveloped countries come to the United States and perform very well academically, even beating the American students? The answer is simple: discipline, obedience and respect. Those are the critical issues the government should address rather than stupidly pumping money into the educational system.

Officialdom is either dumb or ignorant or deliberately avoiding the problem out of political correctness. It is very dangerous. In a situation where a teacher arrives at school each day and cannot wait for the last bell so that he or she can scuttle out of harm's way, what do you expect? Hold the students accountable for their wayward, disrespectful disposition to the authorities.

I am a licensed teacher; I taught in this country for many years. A student who is disciplined, respectful, observant and ready to learn will always come away with something. Money, a plush classroom environment, expensive school wares and a gourmet meal will not rectify the problem.

Steven Osakue