Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Article excerpt

New nonproliferation strategy for the post-cold-war world

Regarding the Sept. 15 article "New cracks in nuclear containment": The current nonproliferation regime does not work, as evidenced by the activities of North Korea, South Korea (an ally), and Iran. The basis of nonproliferation treaties is that those in the nuclear club can keep what they have, trade technologies among themselves, and build more should they desire to, while those not in the club are prohibited from creating an indigenous nuclear capability.

Rather than pouring billions into a nonfunctional system where Israel, India, and Pakistan have already developed their own nuclear arsenals, why not focus our efforts on the new reality - more regional nuclear powers with limited arsenals rather than the large, world-crushing threat of the cold war. How would we handle a potential nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan or Iran and Israel? How will our defense guarantees of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan evolve as China develops more intercontinental missiles or North Korea creates a handful of medium-range missiles?

Our nuclear thinking is still mired in the mind-set of the cold war, from which the nonproliferation regime emerged. It's time to move beyond that. Allen Edwards Falls Church, Va.

Challenges to improving SAT testing

I read your Sept. 16 editorial, "Minorities Score On SAT," with much interest, as I am an SAT tutor. Over the years I have come to realize that students educated in wealthier communities generally perform better on standardized tests. However, I have had students from wealthy districts score poorly, and students from poor districts score very well. My conclusion is that there are just too many variables - the type of student and his or her home environment being the most influential - to design a test that could be considered fair.

I believe that we must set a reasonable educational standard in this country, and then proceed to challenge students, their schools, and most important, their families, to provide the basic fundamentals necessary to achieve a decent SAT score. Otherwise, we will eventually default to the lowest level whereby we could test everyone, factor in all the "handicaps," give everyone the same score and convince ourselves that the new SAT is indeed fair, once and for all. …

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