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e . ,,7 ,, THE TE.:.N A’ Postmaster: If undeliverable, send Form 3579 to The Texas Observer, 600 W. 7th, Austin, Texas 78701 \(Dialogue Thanks from inside Your article “Keeping the lid on the prisons” \(Obs., make my day. In this same spirit, I hope soon to have contributions coming in from prisoners for the Observer’s Investigative Reporters Fund. It’s the least we can do for those who are trying to help us`. A TDC inmate Huntsville Too broad a brush Pardon me, but you’ve gored my ox. I cannot let stand unchallenged your story concerning economic education in Texas \(Obs., Matthew Lyon used the same brush to paint all efforts to promote economic literacy in the state as equaland evil. If you had asked anyone who knows learned that the purpose and goals, as well as the educational accomplishments, of the Center for Economic Education at North Texas State University and the Texas Council on Economic Education are worthwhile and deserving of better treatment than was given by the Observer article. My husband, Bill Luker, has labored for ten years in the critically needed area of economic education, serving as the original director of both organizations mentioned, and is still heavily involved in their work. His integrity is above reproachPeriod. It should be obvious that the study of economics requires a thorough examination of economic systems, not the least among which is the market system, a version of which is called the free enterprise system. Also apparent should be the highly sensitive nature of discussing such politically charged topics as what and how much to produce, how it is to be distributed, as well as the many unresolved problems of the market. Bill, has struggled mightily to address these and other issues in a fair and intellectual way. And to have dismissed his and others’ efforts \(as did Lyon, “a student from Amherst, Massachusetts, who spent the ment: “The othersmost notably the TCEE, which is business-dominated but has some labor supportare less inclined to claim a scriptural sanction for American private enterprise, but they are equally zealous in their efforts to make the secular case for capitalism. . .” is careless, if not irresponsible, journalism. Further \(and you must forgive the opinion that any serious effort to inform the public as to the state of legitimate economic education in Texas should have included an interview with him, which would have proven not only enlightening, but also scintillating. Now you can take this letter and add it to your “Journal of Free Voices”! Jo Luker Denton You have a point: TCEE does some good, and TCEE is not run by crazies or in thrall to the businesses that put money into it. Indeed, we think we said as much in the passage you quoted, which at bottompraises TCEE with faint damnation. Our story had a point, too: that “legitimate” economic education in public schools is the kind provided by the public and administered by people who are accountable to the public,,not to private organizations or corporations. And we placed the blame for the gap filled by TCEE and less scrupulous groups right where it belongs, on the Legislature and the Texas Education Agency. As for our asking “anyone who knows,” we did-several of them, in fact, including people involved in your own organization. Not all TCEE members are as defensive as you or so willing to assert its purity. We are sorry indeed, though, to have missed interviewing your husband, not only because he sounds so knowledgeable, but also because we would give almost anything for a “scintillating” interview on any economic topic. Finally, we must take umbrage at your slighting reference to Matthew Lyon’s credentials. He gathered the facts and he got them straight, and those are the credentials that count. If you insist on the more conventional kind, he has those too: he is a reporter for the Berkshire Eagle and his work has appeared in The New York Times and national magazines. And your unkindest cut-that Lyon just might be some sort of outlander-not only was uncalled for, but wrong. Matt’s a fourth-generation Tex an. -Eds. 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