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September 05, 2002 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-09-05

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4

4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 5, 2002

OP/ED

abe £iritgn jitrilg

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI'48109
letters@michigandaily.com

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

JON SCHWARTZ
Editor in Chief
JOHANNA HANINK
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's
editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
"There is a huge
gap between what
the delegates have
managed to achieve
here and people's
expectations of them."
- Jan Pronk, United Nations special envoy
to the World Sustainability Summit, as
reported by the BBC. Pronk expressed
a the widespread opinion that the Summit in
Johannesburg ended with little real change.

JENNIFER GREENE JENN 'S CORNER
~/9
-'M flci
4*%, ' Di
wo'
" ", ' GAM P\
4r r

4

4

NEA careful not to step on feelings or logic
LUKE SMITH UNRESERVED EMBRACE
he greatest and and our nation's students are relegated to more child to be the time keeper, and at the
best teachers' remembering to have a healthy breakfast and appropriate time have two shorter children run
union in the spend a little extra time with that most-special into the taller ones. Teachers, simulate the
nation, the National Edu- R.L. Stine book they love. Or Beverly Cleary, increments so that time elapses faster, this
cation Association, often or whoever wrote "Are You There God, it's Me need not take more than one lesson hour.
spends much of its time Margaret." It matters not. People are dead, and While the little planes are crashing into the
serving as the Teamsters on Sept. 11, students will be told to stick to taller children read some poetry and have the
for the teachers. Thank- their normal routines and make themselves children close their eyes and hold hands,
fully, since Sept. 11 they "feel more in control." watch the healing commence.
have devoted less time to All hail the public schools. These softball solutions to dancing around
increasing their salaries and benefits. The NEA All hail the NEA. children's feelings are not what the public edu-
has narrowed its focus to the gentle coddling of a Another masterful idea the NEA came up cation system in America, or any country should
nation of wounded children in the aftermath of with reminds teachers to "Remember to Laugh." be. The reality is that schools kowtowing to the
planes-into-buildings. The lesson plan calls for teachers to try and feelings of children in a desperate attempt to
Anyway, the youth of the nation come obtain a copy of Jay Leno or David Letterman's make everyone believe they are equal is a prob-
first with the NEA in the wake of national return to television. Good, kudos, a novel idea. lem rooted in far more than just a few campy
tragedy. The brain-trust has gotten together Then, it calls for the students (mind you this suggestions listed on the NEA's response to
and squeezed out a ton of ideas for teachers to exercise is intended for grades 6-12) to get into Sept. 11. All their suggested responses and les-
take to heart and to class on Sept. 11. The smaller groups and analyze political cartoons. son plans have done is bring light to another
results (listed at www.neahin.org) do a fine This isn't too hokey, except that a lot of sixth national tragedy, public education.
job of displaying the weakness that has graders may not have a grasp on satire yet - but This emotional coddling may be nice for par-
become associated with public schooling (K- if they did, then we wouldn't need the teachers ents to do with their children, my folks were
12). Showing an overt concern for emotional there as anything other than facilitators, so, the always interested in talking to me and both of
healing and making sure everyone feels OK is teachers can teach them. Perfect. them worked full-time throughout my youth, my
understandable to a point. However, the The activity culminates with this taken mother even worked evenings (3 p.m.-ll p.m.)
NEA's ideas are a little too cupcake for even straight from the NEA website: "In a tight cir- at the hospital and communication still existed,
the most emotionally distraught. cle facing in (if your class will do it) have even emotional coddling. I didn't and certainly.
One of the nuggets of information the NEA everyone lie on the floor with their head on don't now need coddling at school. So next
suggests involves not deviating from a daily rou- someone else's stomach creating a mob of con- Wednesday, while the networks air their cover-
tine. The website says "Maintain your normal nected people ... it definitely adds to the fun ... age about Sept. 11, I hope that I am sitting in
routine and be constructive. Sometimes simply but the level of discomfort must be low." class being taught. Not sitting in a circle sharing
helping out around the house, going to a practice, What? My child is going to be in school snug- my feelings or listening to someone else's feel-
engaging in a hobby, going to the movies, or gling on the belly of another student to then go ings. It's only 15 grand a year to go to this
reading a favorite book can help make you feel around the room, yelling "Ha." See, humor school if you're in-state and double that if you're
more in control." They want this taught to stu- eases the pain of the nation's children. out of state, I'd rather not be sharing and caring.
dents sitting in class - classes that the public tax One idea not discussed on the NEA web- Keep your feelings to yourself, heal yourself, not
dollar supports. When did public schooling stop site was the use of performance art to heal. with a friggin' CD, and move on. It is easier said
being about educating students, and instead start Why not create a visual metaphor to aid in the than done, but it still needs to be said.
throwing slow emotional pitches to wounded healing process? Teachers, select the two
teens? Is this what school is about? tallest children and bring them to the front of Luke Smith can be reached
Three thousand plus people were wiped out, the class, then select two other children. One at lukems@umich.edu.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Jewish activists should 'appalling.' 'revolting, 'proves he is 'delusion- outright war between the Wstern powers and
al;' Daily should 'consider publishing the Eastern masses.
abandon myths, open up to truth' if it wants to be credible, 09/04/02)I can MOZHGAN SAVABEASFAHAN
safely say that the opposition to the divestment The letter writer is a Research Fellow in
constructive dialog article is not taking advantage of the platform EnvironmentalHealth Sciences
provided for dialogue very well. I urge Jewish
American students at the University who dis-D Y ..
To THE DAILY: agree with divestment to please abandon the
I found Fadi Kiblawi's commentary piece myths of "total destruction of Israel" and simi- THINK OUR OPINIONS ARE WRoNG?
in the New Student Edition, Activist Manifesto: lar commonly promoted nonsense and make
Divest from Israeli Apartheid, most intriguing genuine attempts to carry on a dialogue with
and informative. Americans, especially Jewish their opponents (in this case pro-divestment WR E FOR US
activists in America, have long been accused of groups). ATENDA MA E.
turning a blind eye to the atrocities that go on in Israel has illegally occupied a land and has
the occupied territories. By publishing this arti- been brutalizing its people. Continuation of TUESDAY, $EP1 I
cle on divestment from Israel, the Daily has this situation is indecent and against all laws of TH URSDAY,$EPI19
shown exactly the opposite. nations and nature. No one is speaking of
We indeed are in favor of constructive dia- demolishing Israel. Everyone is however MONDAY, SEPI. 2
log between Palestinian Americans and Jewish .alarmed at the prospects of unresolved issues
Americans and we want to provide ample between Palestinians and Israelis. By dragging , PM. 410 AYNARD S1
opportunities for the two people to talk and our feet and holding tight to myths about
communicate. However, while I think we have Palestinians and "threats to existence of Israel"
done our best to provide a means by which to we only prolong agonizing conditions for LET US SHOW YOU THE ERROR OF
promote dialog, judging by the responses to Palestinians and Israelis. Not to mention the Y1UR0WAY, FIEND.
Kiblawi's commentary (Kiblawi's viewpoint possibility that we push our planet closer to an
Funding schools won't stop crime
CLARK PATTERSON FROM THE UNIVERSITY WIRE

4

4

4

L ast week, the Justice Policy Institute, a herself stated in last week's Texan article,
national criminal justice think tank, "about 60 percent of people in prison are
found in a study that between 1985 and there for drug-related causes." Regardless
2000 the state of Texas increased spending on of one's position on drug prohibition,
prisons and corrections seven times as much more stringent drug laws and more rigor-
as it increased higher education funding. The ous enforcement of those laws means a.
study has furnished proponents of increased higher incarceration rate. So this phenom-
higher education expenditures with another enon of greatly enhanced prison spending
pretext for advocating more spending. in Texas over the last 15 years has few
But there are many ques- eimplications
tionable rationales for increas- THE DAILY TEXAN regarding the
ing higher education funding. UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS USTIN state's opti-
The argument that more higher mum level of
education spending leads to less need for higher education expenditures.
prisons is one of them. And contrary to Whitmire's and Owens'
For example, commenting on the Jus- specific claims, it doesn't logically follow
tice Policy Institute study last week, state that more higher education funding neces-
Sen. John Whitmire told The Daily Texan sarily leads to a lower crime rate. Granted,
on Aug. 29 that "We need to do a better there are fewer college-educated persons
job on education and spend less on pris- proportionally in the criminal justice sys-
ons... If you go through the 145,000 people tem than in the general population. But cor-
in [Texas] prisons, you'll find educational relation doesn't necessarily imply
deficiencies, mental health problems, causation, as Whitmire's and Owens'
social and educational reasons that people claims imply. A lower crime rate may not
are incarcerated." In the same Texan arti- be directly related to more spending on col-
cle, Eva Owens of the Texas Criminal Jus- leges and universities. There could be other

If a direct causal relationship existed between
more higher education and less need for pris-
ons, then the crime and incarceration rates in
both Texas and the United States should have
fallen dramatically in the last 60 years.
Instead, those rates have both risen.
In addition to the dearth of evidence
that more higher education spending leads
to a lower crime rate, there is at least one
other rationale not to increase higher edu-
cation spending in Texas. Some studies
over the last 30 years have suggested an
increasing number of persons with educa-
tion credentials that "overqualify" them for
their current profession. For example, the
Carnegie Commission on Higher Educa-
tion found little association between the
jobs and degrees of college graduates who
had been out of school for five years. Only
20 percent of scientists and engineers
claimed their work possessed a "very close
relationship to their college degrees,"
while almost one-third said there was
"very little relationship at all." Those with
liberal arts degrees claimed even less con-
nection to their current vocation. A majori-

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