Magazine article State Legislatures

Principals Deserve Incentives. (Letters and Books)

Magazine article State Legislatures

Principals Deserve Incentives. (Letters and Books)

Article excerpt


Frances Groff's cogent article regarding the principal shortage was of special interest to us in Maryland. Half the nation's school districts, including those in Maryland, face a school principal shortage every bit as critical as the teacher crunch.

More than two-thirds of Maryland's middle and high school principals are eligible to retire within five years and these looming retirements, as well as long hours, low pay and increased accountability for student scores on state tests, have discouraged many from wanting to work as school-based administrators.

Governor Parris Glendening has been responsive to the salary demands of the powerful Maryland State Teachers Association. He should be equally sensitive to the dire principal crisis in Maryland and include sufficient funds in his FY 2003 budget to help recruit and retain school-based administrators.

John R. Leopold



A Risk-Management Strategy for PCB-Contaminated Sediments, by the Committee on Remediation of PCB-Contaminated Sediments, National Research Council. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 2001. 432 pages, $45.

Polychlorinated bi-phenyls (PCBs), chemicals formerly used by industry, were banned when they were identified as potential cancer-causing agents. Unfortunately, they have already polluted air, water and soil, where they slowly degrade and can change into other chemical compounds over time.

PCBs can contaminate fish, wildlife and humans. Especially at risk are Native Americans, subsistence fishermen and hunters, and other people who depend on fish and wildlife for their food. Advisories issued by state and federal agencies about contaminated fish and game are aimed at this population, but apt to be ignored.

A Risk-Management Strategy for PCB-Contaminated Sediments explores the cost of removing PCBs from soil and sediment under lakes and streams. More important--for policymakers--is a discussion of the need for site-specific risk management plans based on accurate evaluations of PCB contamination. …

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