August 17, 2001

The Public Forum ... El Foro Publico

Bush could have done the right thing

An hour ago I spent the last of my tax refund check . . . I got my wife a manicure. I stayed in a mediocre hotel for a couple of nights, bought a couple of CDs on sale, and had a great time at a local casino! Wow! It's gone.

I could have helped pay for an elderly neighbor's medical expenses, but I didn't. I could have supported the local homeless shelter, but I didn't. I even could have bought new books for the school library, but I didn't. I could have done all of the things that the Federal and State Governments do for the public good, but like most Americans I didn't.

When I think of all of the great things that our money in aggregate could have accomplished, I feel sick about how I—and most Americans—trickled away our measly payoff. George W. Bush could have done so many noble and innovative things with these funds—but he didn't.

Lee Rozelle

Who evaluates the king?

I've asked the question once and I am going to ask the question again, "Who evaluates the King?"

If Mr. Bersin gets good marks on his report card, let's scrutinize the test; see his scores; and investigate the evaluators.

Since teachers must rate their students according to their scores on standardized tests, not by judgement; not by teacher-made tests, nor, by observed improvement, perhaps we should expect something similar to be used when marking the superintendent's report card.

Let's take a look at a superficial obeservation:

He has failed his teachers by lack of support and distrust.

The teacher's workload has increased and their help decreased.

He has caused the release of 600+ instructional aids and teacher assistants.

He has never fully articulated his sacred plan that resulted in demotions, dismissals, and transfers of experienced and excellent educators.

Those of us who are concerned about our children's futures and the future of our public school system in San Diego should look at our board members and question such immoral implications.

August L. Castille, Sr.

Time to vote out the board

Mr. Olivos has described the precise problem to explain why we now find ourselves with a totally dysfunctional school district and board of ed in America's Finest City (Commentary: Big Business in Education, has a negative affect on Minority students, published August 10, 2001). Whenever profit is the motive, or even part of the motive, there is trouble, big trouble. Greed undermines democracy. It is a conflict of interest.

The Education Roundtable's members may shortly find themselves with multiple boycotts impacting their businesses if they do not withdraw their claws and release San Diego City Schools. The people mean business. No way will parents and teachers continue to submit the children to negative, dangerous, degrading and downward spiraling mandates from the board of ed majority or Bersin.

I suggest boycotting the school district, too, if at all possible. Vote with your feet, till Bersin is removed and Alvarado along with him. Home school, parochial school, private school, when possible. If not possible, be extremely vocal at your school - attend all governance team meetings. Attend all Board of Education meetings. We need more parents there. Very vocal ones. If you would like to be on the board instead of Ed Lopez, Sue Braun or Ron Ottinger, consider campaigning. Register to vote and use your right to select competent, caring, known, reliable people to the board. Demonstrate, boycott, write letters, show your face, vote. We can replace these people and send a message to the Business Roundtable that this kind of interference for profit and power will not be tolerated in America's Finest City. We can hit them where it counts - in the pocketbook.

I am a Parent and Teacher
(name withheld for fear of retribution)

Sister sings the praises of Martha

I am very pleased to hear that Martha has your support in her fight for her employment ("Commentary: Humanity and Justice Missing from County Administration," published August 3, 2001.) and "Thank You." Martha has talked with her family on different occasions about how she has been accused of many and various "negative acts" by her employer. My sister, Martha, has overcome many obstacles in her fight to keep this employment. She has been working for many years at this position because she loves her job.

She is out there helping people get assistance. Martha has learned all she has to help her clients working these past 30 years. She has also felt the hurt this bureaucracy can dish out.

As you have indicated,she has given so much time to our community and it comes from her heart. I have seen her sing her heart out at four different churches not only in San Diego but in the towns of our relatives. She felt it was important for her to give to people what God's gift to her was, and that was to sing. There were many times I'd see her in the hot sun with the sweat running into her eyes and down her cheeks. She did all this for more than 15 years that I can remember. She has helped so many churches bring people back because of her talents in singing and in race relations.

There is so much that can be said for a person who has raised her children as a single parent with all its difficulties; married late in life; loved and painfully took care of her husband until his very difficult death, which she did by herself and with her daughters and son. We recently lost our parents within four months of each other. I know that was a terrible blow to her, especially, because she felt the love of music our father instilled in her and the strength our mother always had to help her and all her twelve children. Our parents always inspired us to love in the name of God and family.

She has now remarried and with the help of God and hopefully, your continued help, she may receive "Justice" from the County and be allowed to retire so she can continue to help others with her singing, peaceful demeanor and strong inner self worth.

Cecilia M. Hampton
Sister of Martha Martinez Johnson

Valued supports omitted

Thank you for printing the article about the Martinez Foundation's award program this year, in your issue of August 3rd.

In preparing the information for it, I inadvertently omitted the names of other generous contributors who have consistently supported us over the years. They are: Martin Siegel of New York, Ahmed Thabit of Baltimore, and Kim and Gabriela Johnston of San Diego.

Pearl F. Martinez
Thomas and Pearl Martinez Foundation

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