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DEPARTMENT OF CLARIFICATION We just saw the TNRCC issue \(“God’s Thank you for including my comments I would like to clarify a few points that might have been lost in the edit and re-write process. The registration for the sludge project was granted under John Hall’s chairmanship. Since the focus of the article was the TNRCC under Barry McBee, I chose not to elaborate on the 23-day registration affair. Our group was first formed under “Alert Citizens for Environmental Safety” but it is technically no longer the name we use. in 1991, we have used “ACES/Hudspeth Directive for Conservation.” And finally, although I am in Chicago, I am effectively splitting my time between West Texas \(where I have a working stu.time I give ACES/Hudspeth Directive for Conservation is the same as it has always been. I fear that it appears as though we pulled out of the hearings and that I then moved away to Chicago, perhaps with no further work on the issue. ACES/Hudspeth Directive for Conservation is very much alive and working. My affiliation with it is current and active. Most importantly of all, I want to convey how much we appreciate your continued interest in our issues in West Texas. Linda Lynch Dell City VICTIM NIXON? More to the point than an attack on Drew Nixon \(“Do You Know Who I Am?,” on the system of laws that submits one to punishment for victimless “crimes” such as soliciting prostitutes. What wouldn’t you say if someone were prosecuted for adultery or fornication! Is this so different? David Kading Austin EDISON’S ELMS I recently spent a full week at Elm Creek Elementary School in the Southwest ISD just outside of San Antonio. I came away with a much different impression than did your writer, Jeff Mandell, in his piece in your publication \(“A Private Delusion: unfortunate that Mr. Mandell drew his conclusions without speaking to a single teacher at the school. The teachers I spoke with all told me the same thing: “We are working harder than we ever have, but we believe it will be worth it.” The teachers were enthusiastic about the Edison concept, particularly the curriculum. Mr. Mandell scoffs at the curriculum because it is not original. So what? Why re-invent the wheel? If Mandell had taken the time to talk to classroom teachers, instead of professors of higher ed, he would have discovered that the Edison curriculum is culled from years of solid research as to what works best. Every teacher I talked with was impressed with the curriculum. If Mandell had taken the time to ask someone why the kids were not wearing school t-shirts, he would have found out that the kids were involved in selecting their school mascot and colors. You can’t do the t-shirts until you have a mascot and colors. The principal wanted the kids to be involved in that process, rather than dictating it from on high. I don’t know if the Edison Project will deliver fully on what it promises. But I do know that you can’t get a handle on a school without talking to the classroom teachers. Mr. Mandell did not do that. He condemns the Edison Project based on speculation, guesswork and opinions from so called “experts” far removed from the scene. I wish he had spent a whole week there like I did. I think he would have Write Dialogue The Texas Observer 307 W. 7th St.,Austin, TX 78701 [email protected] Readers are invited to submit letters on any subject addressed in the Observer, and we ask that letters be brief \(300point. We reserve the right to edit for libel and clarity \(eliminating the forgenerally try to leave well ‘enough alone. Letters may be submitted e-mail at our new e-mail address: editors ADLER A WINNER! Observer contributing writer Bill Adler has been named a winner in the 1997 Gavel Awards for his article, “From Sweatt to Hopwood” \(April 5, sented by the State Bar of Texas, is judged by that organization’s Public Affairs Committee. Congratulations! come away from that experience with more respect for the leadership of the Southwest ISD, which chose to embark on an innovative and bold course. Let’s see how it works before we condemn it. Jim Walsh Austin Jeff Mandell replies: As Jim Walsh suggests, it would have been useful to talk to some teachers and students at Elm Creek Elementary. Unfortunately, unlike him, I was forbidden to do so by the school’s principal, who informed me during my visit that I should not interrupt school business to talk to anyone. As for the curriculum, it was Edison that trumpeted its originality, and the myriad millions they spent developing it, only to re-hash traditional materials developed by the same education professionals whom Edison holds in low esteem. San Antonio taxpayers will now pay Edison for “developing” this curriculum, and if as Walsh believes, the curriculum succeeds, who does he think will take the credit for it? What is “innovative and bold” about the Edison Project is that a private company will be profiting from public funds provided by taxpayers for the education of San Antonio children. Walsh is free to believe the interests of Edison’s stockholders and the interests of elementary school students are one and the same. I do not. YARBOROUGH DID IT I never wish to question anything written by Molly Ivins nor to appear unduly querulous. But I feel the need to insert an historical matter with respect to the appointment of Sarah Hughes to the federal bench \(“Old Hands” by Molly Ivins, DeSee “Dialogue,” page 27 JANUARY 16, 1998 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3