Chicago Bears' quarterback Jay Cutler walks off the field after being sacked during the second half against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 23-10. | Jeffrey Phelps~AP
Updated: October 17, 2012 6:31AM
I just bought my husband,a lifelong Bears fan, a Chicago Bears plush robe for his anniversary gift, and guess what? After Thursday night’s game, he said I should return it.
Joyce Truby, Woodridge
A valuable life lesson from fifth-grade CPS teacher
I will always remember my fifth-grade teacher, Mrs. Rouse. I remember her not because she was a great teacher, which she was, nor because she was one of my earliest African-American authority figures. I remember her most for a particular lesson she taught me that I carry in my heart until this day.
My friends and I used to tease a girl for being a “Puerto-Rican Jew.” Although this term was more descriptive than malicious, we were using it in an undeniably racist way. Mrs. Rouse took me aside one day to explain why what I was doing was wrong. She did this simply by putting the shoe on the other foot. But instead of asking me how it would feel if someone called me a “chink” — which would have made perfect sense — she asked me how I imagined she would feel if someone called her a “n - - - - -.” I was flabbergasted, as I had not until then learned the full power of this word.
In my senior year of high school, CPS teachers went on strike. I don’t remember much about the issues. What I do remember is meeting with students and teachers in private homes because the teachers wanted to make sure that we would be ready for our I.B. exams later that year.
So when I hear people suggest that CPS teachers are greedy and incompetent, my blood boils. CPS teachers taught me my most valuable life lessons about integrity, dedication and nobility of soul. They gave an immigrant kid of modest means the tools to go to an Ivy League university and later earn the highest academic degree granted by “this great experiment,” as our president beautifully described our country. There is no doubt that there are problems with our public education system. But let’s stop disrespecting teachers and try to give them the props they deserve.
Joo Heung Lee, Ph.D., co-chair,
Department of Humanities and Philosophy,
Oakton Community College
Standardize textbooks to help kids who change schools
Neil Steinberg’s Sept. 14 column, “The one school stat that nobody’s discussing,” raises an important issue that the Chicago Public Schools need to address.
What can be done to minimize the dropout rate?
Here is an idea. Standardization of curriculum, meaning the same textbooks would be used throughout the schools.
Why is this crucial? It will help counter the effects of high mobility that many of the CPS students, particularly the economically disadvantaged ones, confront.
That is, lots of the children in CPS move around a lot in any one year and throughout their K-12 years.
This disrupts the continuity of the schools they attend and using different books at different schools makes it nearly impossible for these students to keep up with their peers.
Moving to a new school presents a range of social challenges to students. Let’s consider minimizing the academic challenges they face through standardization of the basic textbooks.
This is not just my opinion; there are academic studies that support this phenomenon.
And it’s possible that using standardized texts would be cheaper and require fewer administrators to oversee.
Rachel Goodstein, Chicago
Nuns never complained about lack of air conditioning
For all the teachers who complain about the summer heat and classes: I went to a parochial school; nuns wore habits. Can you imagine how they must have felt? We never heard complaints from nuns or students.
Dolores R. Piecuch, Belmont Cragin
Huntley left out details on Obama’s economy
I read Steve Huntley’s Sept. 7 column, and I couldn’t help but notice that Mr. Huntley left out a few details.
1. President Batack Obama inherited an economy that lost over 600,000 jobs during the last month of the Bush administration.
2. He inherited a stock market that also lost 6,000 points, which is now back over 13,000 points.
3. During the Bush years, President George W. Bush inherited over a trillion dollars from President Bill Clinton, and President Bush left President Obama a $10 trillion deficit due to the Bush tax cuts and unpaid wars.
I didn’t see any of this in his column.
Dan Sakosky, Dunning