Daily Kent Stater

A myriad responses for your reading pleasure

Educational dispute

Professor does not see the ease of educating that letter-writer did


Dear Editor:

As a professor whose mother was an elementary school teacher, whose wife is a fifth-grade teacher and whose son will be a teacher, I cannot let the recent characterizations of teacher training and education in recent letters to the editor go unchallenged.

The training and preparation and work that goes into developing a superb teacher is far more comprehensive than the letters suggest.

Before training as a teacher, my wife worked in jobs at a drug-rehabilitation center, an advertising agency, a university anthropology department and an earthquake center — not to mention raising two children.

Her varied background is as crucial to her work as was the experience of my mother, who grew up on a dairy farm and delivered milk — yes, by horse-and-cart — and taught in rural schools in the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s.

Recently, my wife and a colleague taught in Moulton Hall’s high-tech classroom for five weeks. This meant developing new skills for her and the students. (Was it worth it? Ask the kids who were typing daily reports on their PDAs and beaming them to the teachers before the school buses got back to Brimfield.)

My son is preparing to be a high school social studies teacher. To broaden his understanding of the world, he has already spent a semester studying at the University of Leicester in England, attended a two-week education workshop in Ireland and now is doing his student teaching in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (On spring break he toured Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.)

Last summer, he was a tutor in Chicago’s summer school program. This summer, he will tour southern Africa and end his trip at an education conference in Nairobi, Kenya — all to prepare to be the best high school social studies teacher he can be.

We have many outstanding students in Journalism and Mass Communication, several of whom who have won national awards. But none is any better prepared for his or her profession than are dedicated education majors.

I’m sorry, but I don’t recognize the world of education in 2005 and the preparation for it that was depicted in the letters.

Joseph Harper

Professor, School of Journalism and

Mass Communication


Becoming, remaining an educator is harder than man thinks

Dear Editor:

After reading Mr. Zandarksi’s so-called “editorial piece” on his views of education degrees (which was little more than a name-calling diatribe that most likely stemmed from either a) failing out of the College of Education’s teacher training program, or b) not doing well in school), I had to write a rebuttal.

First off, an education degree is worth much more than your feces, and it is also not the degree you get when college is “just too hard.” According to Kent State’s current early childhood education program requirement sheet, once a student successfully completes their LERs with no less than a C grade, they can apply for admittance into the Advanced Study courses. The student must achieve at least a B in all upper-division classes to receive a degree.

Yes, this would sound easy to “everyone (Mr. Zandarski has) ever talked to who wasn’t in the education department,” but what would anyone outside the education department know about what is going on inside it?

Aside from all the classes (which range from content area coursework to Childhood/Adolescent Development to methods courses), pre-service teachers also have to take multiple tests called The Praxis Series. They are not easy, and, until you pass the required tests, you cannot receive a teaching license.

Hypothetical situation: Let’s say that your ACT scores were below average, requiring you to take the PRAXIS 1 tests — that’s three tests at a cost of $135 (according to www.ets.org). If you pass them the first time, you move on to the PRAXIS 2 tests. Since you are a history major, let’s pretend that you are seeking licensure to teach history at the seven to 12 grade level; you would be required to take Content Knowledge: World and U.S. History at $75, plus PLT: Grades seven to 12 at $85. Assuming you pass all tests the first time, that’s $295 of your own money on testing alone. Test prep books cost around $25 a piece, so tack on an extra $125. That’s $370.

After coursework and initial testing, there are also formal interviews conducted by the ECED as well as the MCED faculty. These interviews are conducted to make sure that those who have made it thus far are truly good teacher candidates who are passionate about what they want to do.

Let’s say you get a degree and Provisional license, and by some miracle you get a job in Ohio teaching U.S. government to high school seniors. Congratulations, but now you have to pass PRAXIS 3. Luckily for you, the costs are supposed to be covered for you. If you do not pass, you would be required to take more college classes and retake PRAXIS 3. Your school might not cover your second testing, and you may end up paying upwards of $400 to $500 to be retested. Updated cost estimate: $770 to $870.

You should also know that a new teacher must attain a Master’s degree within 10 years of graduating from their undergraduate program. In addition, they must pass nine hours of college courses every five years in order to keep their five-year licensure.

I could go into more detail, but I believe this should be enough to show anyone outside the College of Education that this is not some joke profession.

Changing angles a bit, as a licensed teacher, if I were to have graded your “editorial,” I would have listed the following criticism with it:

The work is not cohesive; you switch from one complaint to another without any transition and it lacks facts to back up your arguments. You could have better stated your point by cutting the drivel where you insulted every member of the teaching profession and left the simple statement: “I want to learn from teachers who know and are passionate about what they are telling me.” I advise that before you write another editorial that defames something you clearly know nothing about, you check your facts (and your grammar) first.

Beth Buehner

Education graduate student and licensed teacher


To be a good educator, one must know more than just pure facts

Dear Editor:

As an early childhood education major I would like to respond to the tasteless letter about education majors that appeared on April 12. I would like to point out that yes, there are teachers who are not qualified to teach the subjects that they are teaching full time, but does that really make an education degree less valuable than anything else?

No, it does not. Much of education is based on theory and practice, not just content. Teaching is more than just telling students what to learn and how to learn it — as a student, it is your job to think for yourself, and that is the teacher’s goal. Being able to think for yourself is more valuable than any useless knowledge that you may gain in class. This is what a teacher’s job is, and I can say that it is not as easy as many people may think. Education majors go through a lot of training and preparation to be a teacher, and it is not anyone’s place to tell people that they are teaching because they are not smart enough to have a “real” degree.

To be a teacher you need to know a little bit about everything. Substitute teaching may be even harder than having a full-time teaching job, so why can anyone go into a classroom and teach? They shouldn’t be allowed to — teaching also requires you to know how to discipline, know teaching strategies that keep attention and be an effective teacher. If someone majors in art history, why are they substituting math? Is that fair to the math students who are applying themselves to learn? Just because you major in art and you want to substitute, it is not likely that you would be substituting in an art class. The school district would only place you where needed. Maybe before insulting someone’s intelligence based on their major, you should do some research about maybe different majors.

Leighton Feltman

Sophomore early childhood education major


Parking here and there

Department should use money from increase to protect vehicles


Dear Editor:

It’s understandable that Parking Services has to raise its parking-permit rates. As the years go by and the lots become older, they need more maintenance. And when the snow gods decide to dump inches upon inches of snow on good ol’ Kent State, we need the staff and vehicles to remove it.

Parking Services does a good job of keeping up the maintenance on the lots. I am glad there are no large potholes and that my car doesn’t get stuck in a snow bank in the dead of winter. I would have to say that the only thing Parking Services doesn’t do well is protect our cars.

A couple of weekends ago, a stream of break-ins occurred in the stadium lot. Fourteen cars were broken into and had their valuables stolen! Fourteen! That’s a lot of break-ins for three-day span of time. Why is this happening? When I paid my $25 a semester to park at the stadium, I expect my car to be safe! Why can’t they hire security for the weekend? Or cut the number of students in half that they hire to write tickets all week long to protect our lots on the weekend? What’s better, catching that guy who forgot to take his car back to the stadium or catching those dirty, rotten thieves in the act (or better yet preventing all together)?

How about using that extra dough (that they are charging next semester) to build a security hut and keep a couple of guards on duty all weekend? Maybe the Kent State Police Department could drive through the lot every hour also.

So Parking Services this message is for you: Use that 60 bucks you will be receiving from 500 plus cars (at the stadium) and protect our lots! It’s unfair to pay that 60 bucks next semester, on top of tuition, room and board to have our cars broken into. We are college students — we don’t have that extra money to fix the windshield that gets smashed when our cars are being broken into!

Kelley Furey

Sophomore interior design major and



Park where you belong, and don’t moan about the small cost increase

Dear Editor:

The students who have no money to pay for a parking cost increase should bear in mind that the price raise for 2005 to 2006 will cost 62 cents per week or 12 cents per day. Skip the cola one day, and it is paid. Quit parking in places where you will get a ticket, and save some money on fines. Think about the fact that if you park in a space that you weren’t entitled to park in, you are stealing. Wanting something doesn’t entitle you to it.

Jeannie Waller

Clerical specialist


Opinions on national affairs

American public should not tolerate actions of U.S. government


Dear Editor:

The Bush administration has been operating outside of international and domestic law since the ill-fated war on terrorism has begun. It is well known that the prisoners have been captured in Afghanistan and Iraq have been tortured or killed. The International Red Cross estimates that 70 percent to 90 percent of prisoners detained by the U.S. military were taken captive by mistake.

An article by Bob Herbert in the New York Times brings attention to an Iraqi individual named Arkan Mohammed Ali, a 26-year-old Iraqi who was detained by the U.S. military in Abu Ghraib prison complex. Mr. Ali was severely beaten to unconsciousness, shocked with an electrical device, urinated on and kept in a wooden coffin. After a year of imprisonment, the United States pressed no charges against Mr. Ali and he was eventually released from captivity.

A law suit against Donald Rumsfeld was filed on behalf of Mr. Ali and seven other detainees by the ACLU and Human Rights First. The law suit charges that Mr. Rumsfeld personally authorized unlawful torture techniques and abdicated his responsibility to stop the torture of prisoners. The law suit contends that abuse of prisoners was wide-spread, and Mr. Rumsfeld and other top administration officials knew about it.

These gross violations of human rights and international law are a reminder of the lawlessness and the authoritarian tendencies of the Bush administration. Systematic torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay are reminiscent of Stalinist practices of interrogation and extraction of false confessions. This behavior should not be tolerated by the American public, and those that are responsible should be brought before justice.

Martin Oleksy

Senior political science major


Government has no right to weigh in on Terri Schiavo dilemma

Dear Editor:

How long must a person be forced to live for no purpose but to make other people feel better about themselves? Well, if your brain was literally reduced to putty for 15 years, the government might convene special sessions to overrule an independent judiciary just to prolong your life because apparently that is merciful, and not cruel, as previously thought.

Now maybe that person wasn’t completely brain dead. Maybe she was aware but unable to communicate. Maybe Pluto isn’t a planet, either. Maybe the Earth is 6,000 years old, maybe Jesus was the son of God and maybe the Rapture is coming. But the government has no business weighing in on matters that might be so or might not be so, depending on your metaphysical perspective. They said so! The First Amendment reads, “Congress shall not … respect an establishment of religion.” Metaphorically, many of us are forced to live, for virtually no benefit to ourselves, just to benefit people with greater power or popularity. Millions of people slave every day so diplomats can decide their future. But wouldn’t you rather use your own brain? You’ve got one! Without it, you don’t have a purpose either!

In the White House there is an ego with practically no brain, which lives only to feed off of electronic tubes! Will we keep feeding it by pumping our thoughts into it? Or will we use our own brains instead, while we still have them?

Ted Bowen

Post-undergraduate in mathematics


Korean War troops were just as cruel as those in Iraq, Afghanistan

Dear Editor:

I find it hilarious and disturbing that a self-proclaimed Korean War Veteran, U.S. Air Force, one Everitt Simpson, (Letters, April 14) should take me to task for inciting terrorism, when his beloved USAF is, and has been since inception, the foremost practitioner of state-sponsored terror on the planet, particularly during the Korean conflict, during which an estimated two million Korean civilians were slaughtered, mostly by American aerial bombardment. A British Broadcasting Company reporter witnessed the following scene in March 1952, after the USAF had dropped napalm on a Korean village:

“In front of us a curious figure was standing a little crouched, legs straddled, arms held out from his sides. He had no eyes, and the whole of his body, nearly all of which was visible through tatters of burnt rags, was covered with a hard black crust speckled with yellow pus …” (”Manchester Guardian,” March 1, 1952).

Today in both Iraq and Afghanistan, our fly boys drop “Daisy-cutter” bombs that rip through the flesh of anyone in the vicinity, thus sparing the American public the ugly site of napalm barbecues, so common from photographs of Korea and Vietnam. Terrorist, heal thyself.

Assad Pino

Associate professor of history


Not so happy with Forum

Point/counterpoint columns ‘pointless,’ not related to each other


Dear Editor:

What exactly is the “point” of a point/counterpoint column when the two articles matched up against each other don’t really seem to have anything in common?

Recently, the debate between Erin Roof and Tony Cox was over genetically modified food; Cox wrote on the benefits of GM food, and Roof’s “counterpoint” was a lame satire about republicans and their love for trucks and firearms. Today, in the April 20 edition, I read the point/counterpoint columns, and I find Tony Cox writing about reforming the tax code and Erin Roof arguing against tax cuts for the rich. What do these topics have in common, other than the word tax? But, I am confused as to the reason they are put up against each other in this sense.

Thanks again for a truly “pointless” point/counterpoint.

Joel Newburn

Freshman political science major