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Regarding John Rosemond's column (Sunday, Feb. 17), I disagree with his belief that out of control classroom discipline caused by "parents who make excuses for brats...teachers unions...federal aid to education and administrators who strip teachers of permission to discipline" represents a failing education system.

I am a retired teacher who has volunteered in Albany's public school classrooms weekly for the past five years. Perhaps the teachers I observe are miracle workers, and in many ways they are. Wiggly, chatty kindergartners become readers in a few months. Children in fourth grade are still social beings, but are also mastering fractions and learning how to write a structured essay. Do some children have learning disabilities or behavior problems? Yes, and they are addressed kindly, discreetly, and professionally, which means a response that benefits the child and allows instruction to proceed.

No doubt, the U.S. has some problematic parents, administrators, teachers, unions, and federal funding measures. However, John Rosemond's negative and sweeping generalizations do not accurately describe the progress and the quality of education in many classrooms today.

Patricia Loy

Albany (Feb. 17)

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