We Hear You, Part I for the July/August Issue

Readers respond to the July/August issue

by the More.com editors

My other child is now enrolled in a Minneapolis neighborhood public high school that in 2008 underwent a required "fresh start" which resulted in a dramatic reorganization of staff and resources with the goal to improve student performance. Tenure was dismissed and all teachers had to re-apply for their positions and new staff was hired. The result is a wonderful, educational and motivational environment.

What would it take to rid of the practice of tenure? A teacher that fears the removal of tenure must recognize that their level of competency is not of appropriate/ adequate status. If a teacher is good, they will retain their positions. I work full time in the health care industry and am thrilled that tenure is not practiced in this field. Can you imagine? Thank you for listening.
Jill Guimont
Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Bigger, The Better
I would like to ask that MORE magazine provided larger photos of the items/products in the Style/Beauty section of the magazine. The pictures are too small and the captions below are even smaller to read. I am very interested in fashion, style and makeup and would love to see larger pictures and large print on the details of the items you have shown. Thank you.
Veronica Bass

An Inaccurate Portrayal
MORE editors, I am writing in response to Claudia Dreifus’ interview in your July/August issue, titled ‘Is College Worth the Cash?". While I agree that college education, especially that provided by name brand schools, is far too expensive, I found myself quite offended by her largely inaccurate portrayal of our nation’s top universities. She argues that at such institutions class sizes are huge, athletic programs are overvalued and star faculty are more focused on research and teach students only ‘rarely’. I am lucky enough to be a student at one of the ‘golden dozen’ schools and I have to disagree. Yes, we recruit athletically, but my one close friend who was an athletic recruit is smarter than I am. At my university, every professor on payroll is required to teach undergraduates every semester (and hold office hours), and 98% of classes are taught by faculty. The only classes not taught by professors are introductory language classes, which are capped at 15 students and all taught by native speakers; in this case, I welcomed the change. I would rather take Spanish 1 from a Peruvian graduate student with 9 other students.

I have had a class of under 30 students every semester, and the times I have sat in a large lecture hall have been introductory classes with engaging professors. There is some frivolous fantasy that any Ivy League education should consist of personal evening chats with a professor in a wood paneled study, and any deviation from that fantasy is seen as cheating students. Freshman economics is a huge class everywhere, but when I took it I had the benefit of an inspirational and entertaining professor (who also happened to be blind). My city politics professor last semester had half of a 500 person lecture hall openly weeping during a lecture about civil rights. The idea that success in life is dependent on one’s ability to get into Harvard, Princeton or Yale is ridiculous and damaging, but no more false than the backlash opinion. Yes, there are fantastic teachers everywhere, but there is a reason the ‘star’ professors are valued as such, just as there is a reason that name brand universities have earned that recognition.

Secondly, Ms. Dreifus stresses a need to return to a liberal arts education, to allowing students space to grow and learn. Education, she says, is not a luxury. Well, I agree. It’s the reason I go to school where I do, at a place that has a rich history of letting students choose their educational path, a place where departments like classics or theater are as valued by the administration as engineering.

What’s your reaction?

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