- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Amnesty blues

The new U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Tony Garza, argues that if we fail to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, "we will be admitting that our country has a permanent underclass" ("Bush again to push amnesty for Mexican aliens," Page 1, Saturday). On the contrary, we think it would send the appropriate message to the country and others around the world that we are no longer in the business of rewarding criminal behavior and that we are dead serious about national security.

Should White House political strategist Karl Rove and his open-borders ilk prove successful, however, another amnesty the eighth since the "one-time-only" amnesty of 1986 would underscore once more our government's refusal to enforce immigration laws in order not to jeopardize Congress' shadowy love affair with the business community.

It is astonishing that a man of Mr. Garza's intellect would suggest that "legalizing" those here illegally would somehow end their "underclass" status at the same time the country continues to admit large numbers of workers with little education and skills. Wages will remain depressed, and the growing cheap labor pool will continue to create economic hardships for our own working poor and the lower middle class.

It also is time to put to rest the myth that September 11 put President Bush's proposed amnesty for 3 million Mexicans "on hold." Stiff resistance to the plan had all but killed it a month before the terrorist attacks.


Executive director

Midwest Coalition to Reduce Immigration

Lombard, Ill.

Reviving research papers

As a 25-year veteran of high school social studies, I've seen the factors that conspired to "kill" the term paper ("History research papers termed 'on life support,'" Nation, Friday). I, for one, refuse to give up the fight and cede my classroom to bulleted lists flying into the PowerPoint report.

Students need more writing, not less. I found that document-based questions provide rigorous and relevant writing in a manageable format that was easily integrated into a variety of classroom settings. Frequent writing to document prompts allowed me to embed assessments into instruction and help students measure their progress compared to a common standard.

A well-constructed document-based question offers students a wealth of engaging historical material and leads them to the construction of a well-crafted essay based on their analysis of the source material. Each features a selection of primary and secondary documents, artifacts, images, tables, graphs and maps focused on an essential question of enduring relevance.

Give students the chance to do the work of historians by evaluating the impact of industrialization based on the perspectives offered by various sources, such as historic census data, Theodore Dreiser's "Sister Carrie," Henry George's "Progress and Poverty," the 1908 Sears catalog, Lewis Hine photographs and interviews from the Folklore Project of the Federal Writers' Project. They'll never be able to plagiarize an essay from the Internet regarding this specific set of documents.

Document-based instruction gives students the opportunity to move beyond the passive absorption of facts and enter knowledgeably into a managed archive where they can bring sound historic perspectives and analysis to bear on the challenges of the past and opportunities for the future. They might even want to read the rest of "Sister Carrie."

Teachers who want to know more about document-based instruction should visit my Web site, Teaching WithDocuments, which is located at www.edteck.com/dbq. They can join the thousands of teachers and students who visit the site to download free document-based questions, instructional resources and primary/secondary source material.


Assistant superintendent for instruction

East Irondequoit Central School District

Rochester, N.Y.

More on methadone

Monday's editorial about methadone, "Methadone: code blue," correctly reports that the highly respected and objective Institute of Medicine has determined methadone maintenance to be "the best treatment for opiate addiction." This conclusion is based not on conjecture but on the consistent experience throughout the world in the past 35 years.

As for the black market, this is the inevitable consequence of government policies that severely curtail the legitimate clinical availability of methadone. Nationwide, 80 percent to 85 percent of heroin addicts have no access to treatment a shameful statistic for which the entire society bears the cost. We should be demanding prompt expansion of addiction treatment maintenance treatment as well as drug-free for all who want it, need it and, with tragic and growing frequency, die without it.



Baron Edmond de Rothschild Chemical Dependency Institute

New York

Wrong game

Contrary to the caption for the photograph in Monday's Culture, et cetera, this "Ice Bowl" was not the 1967 Super Bowl. Instead, it was the National Football League Championship game for the 1967 season, which was played on Dec. 31, 1967, between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers at the Packers' Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.

The day was, indeed, brutally cold, with temperatures minus 13 and a wind-chill rating of minus 40. The Packers won, 21-17, in the final seconds with a 1-yard sneak by Bart Starr.

The Super Bowl for the '67 season (Super Bowl II) was played after that game on Jan. 14, 1968, in Miami between the Packers and the Oakland Raiders. The Packers won, 33-14. There was no ice.

The NFL rule mentioned in the quotation from Stephen F. Hayes' column applies only to the Super Bowl, not to Conference Championships or other playoff games. Super Bowls have been played in warm weather cities since their birth in 1967.

Thus, another Ice Bowl would be entirely possible, unless the blessings of global warming are revealed in full.


Potomac Falls, Va.

Hurrah for speed cameras

I believe I represent the majority of D.C. residents who support Mayor Anthony Williams' expansion of the speed-camera program ("Mayor backs expansion of speed cameras," Page 1, Thursday). Drivers have transformed our streets into racetracks.D.C. pedestrians and bicyclists operate in peril. Racing drivers view pedestrians and bicyclists as obstacles who had better get out of their way.Nothing not rain, ice, snow or children will slow down these drivers.

To support this view, a recent national pedestrian safety report listed the streets of Boston and New York City as being safer than here in Washington.

A case in point is Rhode Island Avenue NW near Shaw Junior High School. The posted speed limit is 35 but 15 around the school.Nevertheless, car speeds often top 50 mph. Unmindful students jaywalk dangerously.Drivers don't slow down; they vigorously honk.

One way to attempt to correct this horrible situation is by expanding the speed-camera program. I applaud the mayor.



Cooper Park Neighborhood Association


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