Letters to the Editor

12/27 Letters: Inmates should get the resources to ‘turn their lives around’

Regarding “Tough talk won’t cut crime” (Dec. 22): Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ “Tough on Crime” stance has not been successful, and the GOP must know this. What they don’t know, and should is, that crime, like any disease, cannot be cured without finding its root cause. Otherwise we are putting a bandaid on a more serious problem, only temporarily stalling it.

We can understand the fanatics of the Crusades or the Salem Witch Trials as attempts by uneducated people to abolish what they considered deviant behavior. They felt they were threatened by criminals, but that was hundreds of years ago, and they knew nothing about psychology and rehabiliation.

But hopefully, in this century, with our knowledge of psychology and human behavior, we should try a more refined approach. We should urge our politicians to develop programs which will focus on rehabilitation for criminals, rather than punishment. Punishment creates anger and that begets crimes again, like a vicious circle.

Laws should be passed to make every prison stay have the requirement of rehabilitation services, perhaps with group counseling; and we must give criminals job training and education, link them up with resources which can turn their lives around, from living conditions to finding a job, to budgeting money, to having aspirations.

Nat Grossman

Cary

Extending ‘vision’

Regarding “Math Teaching Gets New Formula” (Dec. 22): It is gratifying to see articles on the adoption of evidence-based mathematics programs in the media. However, I feel a need to point out that many Wake County teachers have been using student-centered approaches to develop mathematical understanding among students for quite a while.

Elementary teachers first adopted Cognitively Guided Instruction, a problem-solving approach to mathematics, in 1995. Prior to that, in the late 1980s, some of our most innovative high school teachers used a similar inductive approach, the Process-Approach to Algebra (also known as the Hawaiian Algebra Project).

I hope that the Mathematics Vision Project is successful in extending the ‘vision’ of effective mathematics instruction that at least some Wake County teachers administrators have had for years. Perhaps the article and the project will promote greater public appreciation and support for the effective teaching and learning of mathematics in our public schools.

Jane M. Gleason, Ph. D.

Professor, Meredith College Department of Education

Dueling bells?

Regarding “Donors answer call to help NCSU landmark tower finally get bells” (Dec. 22): I am delighted that the NC State Bell Tower will finally be getting some real bells. They’ll be a nice counterpoint to the bells at Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, which is less than a mile away.

What I really want to hear is a bells version of Dueling Banjos. I wonder if I can get the NC State chancellor and the bishop on board?

Steve Clark

Cary

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