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April 1, 1994
Vol. 51
No. 7


Reply: Read Before Judging

H. James McLaughlin (Letter to the Editor, February 1994) publicly evaluates my book before having read it (Laura and Jim and What They Taught Me about the Gap Between Educational Theory and Practice, (Albany, N.Y.: SUNY Press, 1993). His response illustrates the self-defensive posture characteristic of too many professors of education.
I neither invented nor exaggerated a dichotomy between teachers and professors. For example, H.M. Kliebard documents many examples in Review of Educational Research (Volume 63, 1993). Kliebard writes: “Researchers...view the teacher, implicitly at least, as the compliant beneficiary of the largesse and superior knowledge of the educational researcher. It is in this sense...that (contemporary research) falls squarely into a century-old tradition that has manifestly failed to affect school practice in a positive way.”
—Dona M. Kagan, Manassas, Virginia

Praise for Balance and Fairness

I commend you for the balanced approach in the December/January issue (“Can Public School Accommodate Christian Fundamentalists?”). The inclusion of articles by Robert Simonds and Michael Ebert proved you tried to cover all sides.
Public educators often miss the boat about Christians' motives within the schools. Most parents believe home is where morals should be taught. Sadly, the breakdown of the family has reduced schools to acting as parent to many children. As schools try to teach values, they forfeit the original intent for education: the intellectual survival of children.
Schools should teach history, geography, English, and math. Christians want to be either included in a quality education void of political and religious agendas, or allowed to educate their children—with tax incentives—in Christian schools or in the home.
—Rick Chromey, Professor of Christian Education, Boise Bible College, Boise, Idaho

Gross Inaccuracies Deplored

Surely you might have found a spokesperson for conservative Christian parents who does not engage in gross inaccuracies and uninformed judgment. Consider the following from Robert Simonds' “A Plea for the Children” (Dec. 1993/Jan. 1994).
Condoms have holes in them that are “five times larger than the AIDS virus”? His evidence is a spokesman for the rubber chemistry industry. This is not an acceptable citation in a scholarly magazine.
Old English Common Law is “based on the Ten Commandments”? As an educator with a Ph.D. in history, I'd ask for confirmation for such a monolithic statement.
Robert Marzano, Theodore Sizer, and John Goodlad have “atheism and socialism on their agendas”? How can one possibly respond to such inaccurate and insulting judgments of educators who do so much in the effort to provide a better education for children?
I am disappointed that you published such an anti-intellectual diatribe.
—James P. Hendrix, Jr., Headmaster, The Lovett School, Atlanta, Georgia

This article was published anonymously, or the author name was removed in the process of digital storage.

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