Readers Write

DEKALB TESTING

No support for cheaters

Re: "Support urged for test suspects" (Metro, June 25): a message to DeKalb school employees supporting administrators accused in falsifying CRCT test results flies in the face of reason. A school system is not a "family." They are trained and certified employees, paid with our taxes, charged to educate children to measurable results. Tenure is no defense, despite presumption of innocence for (James) Berry and (Doretha) Alexander.

Altering test results negates individual performance earning student advancement to the next grade. It only serves selfish and unlawful purposes to protect school ranking, career status and merit increases for incompetent educators.

M.L. Gable, Alpharetta

Handle out of court

I think everyone would agree that cheating on tests, for any reason, is wrong — especially so if you are in a leadership position like the DeKalb principal, who is alleged to have altered his students' CRCT exams. However, arresting this person in his home for a two- to 10-year crime is way out of line for any prosecutor to do. Some co-conspirators in Lincoln's assassination got less, and I doubt this educator is a Jack Bauer type.

We taxpayers already fund an immense professional administrative system for education, and this is where the matter needs to be handled. Paying huge fees to attorneys to treat these dishonest actions as a crime is absurd and irresponsible.

Look, our educators give more and make less than in any other major profession. Let's hold them accountable, but with due respect. The alleged misconduct is cheating, not treason.

Al Lintel, Marietta

It's not a family

DeKalb County School Superintendent Crawford Lewis has urged school system employees to support James Berry and Doretha Alexander. Dr. Lewis states, "DeKalb County School System is a family, and, during difficult times, family should come together."

While family members ought to support one another despite their failings, DeKalb County School System is not a family. The DeKalb County School System is a government entity with a budget of over $850 million and more than 13,000 employees.

As superintendent, Lewis has an ethical and a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that those employed by the school system are competent and trustworthy. Dr. Berry and Mrs. Alexander have demonstrated that they are neither.

Molly Bardsley, Tucker

BUSINESS' IMAGE

Fix behavior now

I appreciate Mr. Wingfield's insightful column ( "Our views affect next generation," Opinion, June 25). His point that America's future generation is at risk of viewing the American business community as a toxic cesspool of greed ("the exploiter of the sick and the polluter of our planet") is well taken.

The pursuit of profit at any cost is a behavior that has been formalized into business policy, and celebrated by corporate, political and other communities.

When young people see vast profits being generated at the expense of the health of our planet, our people and our economy, they respond wisely by looking elsewhere for role models.

Perhaps, rather than worrying about the way our children will view business in the future, we should take action now that requires big business to make decisions that are productive, rather than destructive.

Then, our children's view of business will take care of itself.

Thomas Spach, Atlanta

HEALTH CARE REFORM

Other answers needed

President Obama is playing that "now or never" card with

his health care reform bill. It is time for our legislators to give this issue time for extensive investigation of all possible solutions.

The government oversees Medicare/Medicaid with declining success, and controls the VA with such inefficiency it is an embarrassment. Do Americans want to consign the administration of our health care to another incompetent bureaucracy?

Perhaps some of designated spending could be used to fund medical school expenses for those willing to specialize in primary care, and repay the tax payers with service in clinics in disadvantaged areas.

D. Rosenthal, Atlanta

CARRY-ON BAGS

Charge fees for them

Why the huge discussion about the size of the bag ("Rollback for carry-ons?'' News, June 25)? Just transfer the fee now charged for checked baggage to carry-on baggage, and the problem will correct itself.

Airline travel has morphed into a nightmare. The worst part of any flight is waiting behind rude people attempting to stuff oversized bags into the overhead compartment, or walking the aisle looking for space in the compartment, while not heeding flight attendant instructions on how to best store the bag. The reverse exercise at deplaning is equally as frustrating.

How much fuel is wasted during these exercises? Besides saving fuel, this new policy could help improve on-time performance, and speed up lines at security checkpoints.

Ronald D. Johnson, Austell

GLOBAL WARMING

As your ultraliberal opinion columnist Jay Bookman is stirring up the hysteria over the notion of man-made global warming ("Familiar Georgia may melt away," Opinion, June 23), I have two questions to ask this sage. Did he also buy into the liberal hysteria of the mid-1970s, when the bearded beatniks of that era were warning us of the upcoming man-made, extreme climatic global cooling?

And, did he endorse the systematic dismantling of our free enterprise system through extreme taxes on businesses apparently causing all this man-made global cooling? Inquiring minds wish to know.

Lucien B. Lane, Atlanta