Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Article excerpt

Alternative teaching programs work

Regarding your editorial "Hiring nonteachers to teach" (July 16): After 10 years as director of the first and largest alternative certification program in America, I can personally testify to the value of bringing mature, degreed adults into teaching. Unfortunately, the young grads from traditional teacher education programs are not always willing to teach in hard-to-staff schools in urban areas.

Alternative-certification candidates who live in urban neighborhoods, on the other hand, will teach and stay in these schools. Alternative-certification programs are generally very rigorous pursuits for the individual wanting to give back to society after a successful career in another field of work. Delia Stafford Houston

Haberman Educational Foundation

Pilots can be trained to use guns

Regarding "No guns in the cockpit," (Opinion, July 15): As a former Special Forces team member who has trained and served on several tactical teams, I can say that while building-entry, room- clearing, and hostage- rescue techniques require intense training and continuous sustained training and muscle memory, simple close- quarters linear combat techniques do not. Furthermore, the type of ammunition used would make an explosion or catastrophic damage to the aircraft highly unlikely.

While I am not in favor of pilots leaving the cockpit to engage terrorists in the middle or rear of the aircraft, I do believe that they can be competently trained to defend the cockpit - an area about the size of an average home's bathroom - with a high degree of safety. Dale Simpson Lawrenceville, Ga.

Don't blame environmentalists

In response to Jack Ridley ("Big cost for wildfires," Reader's Write, July 15), I am amazed that the same old story about environmental groups holding up the Department of Interior with lawsuits is being spread by the better-educated readers of your paper. Living in the middle of a forest, even I know that there have been few lawsuits and that the problem has been where the money is being spent when it comes to forest management. …

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