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Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2002

By Staff
Find a buyer for the biggest empty factory in Mississippi'
To the editor:
As a former employee of Burlington and a current citizen of Clarke County, the events of last week that have taken place in Stonewall have made me nothing less than nauseous.
As I have read the newspaper articles and listened to the night news reports, I've wondered why that it has been failed to be disclosed that the Burlington employees were forced by their company management to train Mexican workers for almost a year back in 1998. The people they trained will now be making the denim for our blue jeans ( Levis, Lee, Rustler, etc.) because Burlington will pay them a fraction of the wages that they were paying to our citizens.
If anyone can explain to me how the North American Free Trade Agreement has helped the average American citizen, please reply to this article. Oh, and if you expect the price of blue jeans to come down, just hold your breath.
Why is it that our elected officials, from top to bottom, just stand by and let these events happen and then say, "We're sorry, we will put together a special task force to try and help. Maybe we can find a buyer for the … "Biggest Empty Factory in Mississippi."
Name withheld by request
Troops need Bob
To the editor:
It's unfortunate that Bob Hope, 98, is unable to entertain the troops in Afghanistan. Thank God they have Geraldo.
Armond "Si" Simmons
Pell City, Ala.
Colleges not teaching teachers to teach
To the editor:
Re: Bonnie Warren's column ("Isn't there something wrong when …" The Meridian Star, Jan. 13):
The fundamental something that is wrong in higher education is that the colleges and universities and their bankrupt education departments do not teach teachers to teach.
The courses in the education departments are based upon the premises that understanding can be had without knowledge, discretion can be informed without information, and judgment need not wait on evidence.
Elementary students are prevented from developing general intellectual skills under educationist formal skills teaching and the educationists' erroneous assumption that reading, writing, and arithmetic are as natural as speaking a language.
Reading, writing, and arithmetic are not natural. Learning involves effort. Practice does make a difference.
Elementary students who learn to read, write, and cipher and also get a broad general knowledge can develop general intellectual skills such as critical thinking and learning to learn.
Teachers, and especially elementary teachers, need a broad general knowledge which is not presently available in higher education. After their bachelor's degrees, graduates who wish to teach should spend a year or two in practice teaching. The only way to learn to teach is to teach.
Similarly, the question Can this person teach adequately?' can be answered only by allowing the person to teach.
Required courses in education, programs of teacher education approved by the state departments of education, and objective examinations cannot satisfactorily answer this question.
Dean Calloway
Meridian
Reader enjoys Star's Web site
To the editor:
Thank you so much for the "Guest Book" on your Web site. I have enjoyed looking over the entries to see if there is anybody I know that I went to school with.
My family moved from Meridian in 1982 when my father accepted pastorate of another church. I missed graduating with my friends by one year.
Thanks again for having a Web site like you do.
Shelia Speights
Hattiesburg

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