residents of Albany, whose sons went to Albany public schools
(and received a very good education!), we are deeply disturbed
about the proliferation of charter schools [“Make Way,” Newsfront,
July 1]. There seems to be no end in sight to the opening
of new charter schools. Does every new charter school get
approved? It seems that way.
This has become a huge burden on the public school system
and the residents of Albany. The charter schools haven’t been
able to fill the existing ones and yet they build new ones.
That doesn’t make sense.
There seems to be little or no oversight of these schools.
The reports that we’ve read indicate that, except for a few
charters schools, most of them do no better than the public
schools and many times they do a worse job of educating students.
Charter schools can remove children that have behavior problems
or learning problems. Public schools can’t do that.
In addition, charter schools are clearly an attempt to privatize
education. They don’t even have to hire certified teachers
or pay the same salary as public school teachers receive.
They aren’t members of the New York State Teachers Retirement
System. It’s hardly surprising that there’s a large turnover
among staff and students.
Finally, despite Mr. Bender’s comment, Juan Gonzalez, a highly
respected investigative reporter (the New York Daily News,
Democracy Now), has published far more than “a 300-word
article” on the topic. Even such experts as Diane Ravitch,
an assistant secretary of education under President George
H.W. Bush and an early supporter of charter schools, have
made an about-face on the issue. She has explained this in
her new book, The Death and Life of the Great American
We need to stop building these unproven, costly schools now!
and Kevin Huhne
his column [“YouTube 1, Viacom Nil,” Rapp on This, July 1],
Paul Rapp says “ . . . cartels like the MPAA and the RIAA
claim to champion ‘creator’s rights’ when they are actually
stealing money from creators and feeding it to their shareholders.”
I think that the statement is only partly correct. Such cartels
actually shovel money from creative individuals into their
own pockets. Their claiming that they are working on behalf
of artists and shareholders is incorrect on both counts. Artists
and shareholders are sources of money for corporations. As
long as artists produce work that generates money from customers
and shareholders are willing to lend money to corporations
(by investing in company stock), companies get to keep the
A relative of mine was a corporate trader who handled millions
of shares a day. He said that a broker didn’t care if the
stock price went up or down. The broker just sold from one
set of clients to another set of clients. Whether the stock
price went up or down, half the clients were happy. And the
broker was happy because both purchases and sales generated
If cartels were really interested in shareholders, they would
write investment prospectuses in something more closely approximating
a human language and wouldn’t try to hide information about
“Myrtle Avenue Blues” [Newsfront, July 1], Gary Kochem, Albany
Medical Center’s executive vice president and chief operating
officer, was misidentified as the hospital’s president and
CEO, James Barba.
And in “Conjunction Junction” [Theater, July 1] Or,
playwright Liz Duffy Adams was wrongly identified as Alice
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