Seeing red (ink)

I want to thank you and your senior editor, Corey Murray, for the article, “Bush: Cut $3.2B from education,” in your March issue. The table showing 2006 and 2007 is very telling. The content did two things for me: First, I could not even finish the article, I was so angry by what [President Bush] is proposing to do to education. The second is positive in that I immediately registered for the Software and Information Industry Association’s D.C. Fly-In [March 8] … to at least be proactive in trying to help change 2007 for education.

And thank you, too, for a great publication over the years!

–Al MacIlroy, Princeton, N.J.

Intel’s commitment

I recently read your February editorial, “America First.” I was surprised to see Intel listed as a “U.S. multinational … standing idle or abetting the competition as one of our greatest resources disappears.”

Far from “standing idle,” Intel is an outspoken proponent of the critical need to improve science and math education in the U.S. For more than a decade, Intel Chairman Craig Barrett has used his “bully pulpit” to call attention to the science and math education crisis in the U.S. Dr. Barrett was a key contributor to the Glenn Commission report in 2000 that urged officials, educators, and business leaders to act on the crisis. Since that time, Dr. Barrett has only increased his involvement. Recently, Barrett and Bill Brody (president of Johns Hopkins University), as co-chairs of the National Innovation Initiative, launched a concerted effort to publicize the competitiveness challenge and drum up support for action on the issue by policy makers. … This is hardly “standing idle.”

Yes, Intel has invested in India. We are a global company, and over three-fourths of our revenue comes from outside the U.S., so we clearly need to serve the markets in those areas where our business is growing. But we also remain committed to our workforce in the U.S., and last year we announced more than $7 billion of future investments here that will directly or indirectly create approximately 7,000 jobs. Intel is also committed to education, spending more than $100 million each year to improve education around the world and to invest in the future of young people.

— Brenda Musilli, Director, Intel Education

Seeking redress

I am writing to ask that eSchool News display more sensitivity in its depiction of Asian-Americans in the future.

I normally don’t write letters to the editor about these things, but I found the picture on page 19 in the article “Tech fosters Chinese language instruction in the U.S.” (February) to be, in the context of the article, absurd at best, offensive at worst. It shows a Caucasian boy holding a Chinese language book up to an Asian woman wearing a cheongsam, a traditional Chinese dress.

To put this in perspective, in an article about American students learning German, would you show someone wearing lederhosen? Of course not. That photo might be appropriate if you were talking about cultural awareness, maybe Chinese New Year, but not about language. I hope that you and your staff will think about this a little more in the future.

–Phyllis Fung, Washington, D.C.

Editors’ reply: We strive to be sensitive to all ethnic groups in photos as well as text. The photo in question was taken by the Associated Press of an actual teacher working with an actual student at St. Michael’s Independent School in Stuart, Fla. We asked Patricia Austin, the school’s director of communications, about the photo, and here’s what she said: “Mrs. Liu Yanling, our visiting scholar from the Chengdu Foreign Languages School in Chengdu, China, is helping ninth-grader Collin Dennis with his Chinese studies. Mrs. Liu, who goes by the English name of ‘Emily,’ wore her traditional Chinese dress for the photo session. She also wore it on other special occasions. Typically, though, she wore casual dress such as slacks and a shirt.”

Vendor bender

I would like to compliment you on your Clark County School District issue (“Ed-Tech Vanguard Report,” November/December 2005). As an 11-year resident of Las Vegas, I have seen the [area’s] explosive growth firsthand and am pleased to read how well our school district is keeping up with technological innovations and improvements.

Unfortunately, your description of our company’s contribution–mentioning Interactive Technologies of Nevada (ITN) as working with the district to implement ETS Pulliam’s Instructional Data Management System (IDMS)–is erroneous. ITN developed and has licensed an internet-based mathematics assessment and remediation software tool that helps students successfully complete the Nevada High School Proficiency Examination. Although we did not assist the district with the IDMS project, they are using our mathematics remediation and assessment program to enable teachers to obtain similar information for those students struggling to pass the High School Proficiency Exam. Our program, Succeed in: Math!, has been licensed since 2004 for 10th- through 12th-grade students in Clark County and for non-proficient seniors statewide. We also have pilot programs in three of the largest school districts in Utah and are working to make it available in several other states. Thank you for the opportunity to set the record straight.

–Joel Rector, Chief Executive Officer, Interactive Technologies of Nevada

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