Although your recent article about Cappella Romana (“Guided by Voices,” February 2010) was excellently written, the contributions to the success of that group by Dr. Alexander Lingas could have been more justly presented. He founded that group and worked for many years, teaching and emotionally supporting its members, before it acquired its rightful recognition in the world. The article—though it mentions him as its artistic director—upstages his contribution, which makes it an unfair presentation.
—Andrés Berger-Kiss, Lake Oswego
I hope that if I’m ever accused of a crime, your reporter Anna Sachse is not in the jury box. She seems to have forgotten that the basis of our justice system is that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. Her article (“Call of Duty,” February 2010) revolves around a “he said/she said” case where there does not appear to be any proof of guilt. Instead of complimenting the other jurors for deciding the case on that standard of American justice, she berates them for being old, wearing denim, and for being as opinionated and prejudiced in their views as she is in hers.
-—Jim Smith, Richland, WA
The Real Waldorf
Some parents and staff at Portland Waldorf School, while attuned to the issues your article addressed (“Retro Grades,” February 2010), felt dismayed about your use of the word “hippie” when referring to Waldorf education. The Waldorf schools do have their share of progressives, latter-day idealists, and yes, even some hippies. We take pride in the social and economic diversity in our school communities. We also have parents and alumni who are prize-winning writers, filmmakers, musicians, doctors, restaurateurs, lawyers, social workers, teachers, and entrepreneurs. We sincerely hope to have Waldorf education portrayed in light of our mission to create positive change in the world and educate children to grow into creative, independent thinkers.
—lauren Johnson & Elizabeth Nugent, Waldorf School
Online readers had the following responses to Zach Dundas’s article about Portland Public Schools’ proposed redesign of its high school system (“Retro Grades," February 2010).
Zach Dundas does a good job of getting the general drift of the high school redesign effort, especially the sense that it looks more to the past than the future. There are two educational needs and trends that have received little attention in the design process so far: the need for stronger foreign language–learning opportunities, and the cost savings and more varied course offerings of online educational programs.
There is no precedent or even supporting theory that indicates this redesign will be at all positive or effective. In fact, current successes in other districts are based on the opposite approach, and yet we’re just going to say “what the heck” and jump in feet first? In a district that has demonstrated a lack of transparency and candor throughout this process? No thanks.