Throwing in the towel: Just finished David Holthouse's article on the Regency ("Motel Hell," March 13). I worked at the Regency in various capacities for several years starting in 1970, so I remember how grand it was. I remember meeting celebrities, sports figures and politicians.
The Oxford Hotel went through the same tough times in the '70s, and to look at it now, you'd never know it. They'd even hand you your towel and washcloth when you checked in and charge you if you didn't return them when you checked out -- that's how bad it was.
I can only hope the Regency can aspire to a fraction of its former greatness, although I doubt it. At any rate, good article, and thanks for the memory.
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Keep it under your hat: I enjoyed "Motel Hell." My friends and I have been watching the Regency go downhill for many years. I guess I'll have to get a belt and cowboy hat to check it out.
Erich William Ulmer
Hitting below the belt: David Holthouse's article on the Regency gave me a few laughs. I about peed my leather chaps when the Mexican straight cowboy asked if the writer was a faggot for not wearing a belt. I have heard that one before. I go to Mexican gay clubs often and always see gay cowboys wearing big belt buckles, boots and hats, and I have to say that the straight Mexican cowboy is mistaken: Pants can be removed easily with or without belts!
Mentor program: I really enjoyed Julie Jargon's informative and objective article about Denver Public Schools' attempts to improve students' reading skills ("Reading, Writing and CSAP Scores," March 13). I was a teacher in DPS for more than thirty years and worked in a number of elementary schools and with federal reading projects in Denver.
First, let me commend the efforts of Sally Mentor Hay, who is heading up this massive effort. Her child-oriented views are a breath of fresh air in this project. Throughout the article, Ms. Hay was shown to value the students' experiences over that of the teachers and administrators. She seemed to understand that a child's attitude toward reading and learning in the classroom is central to all education. The benefits of good learning attitudes carry over throughout people's lives. And she let the teachers and principals know when they were losing sight of this in favor of classroom control and procedure.
Julie Jargon did not pull any punches, either. Her coverage of the exchanges between Mentor Hay and the teachers, coaches and principals showed realistically that some DPS personnel really get it, and some need more time and training. From my experiences, I can tell you that some never will. I only wish there had been this type of effort and support from central administration when I taught school.
Good luck, Ms. Hay, and thank you, Julie Jargon, for your excellent writing.
Dr. Fred Buschhoff
The best and the brightest: I am a fourth-grade teacher in the Adams 12 School District, and I loved Julie Jargon's article!
It really got me thinking about "best practices" in literacy and my own teaching strategies in the classroom. I would like to know more about Sally Mentor Hay's thoughts on the practice of displaying student work in the classroom.
My question is: How does displaying student work in the classroom help students? Our school improvement team (a group of teachers, administrators and community members) is currently debating this issue. In order to raise the quality of work (their focus), some want only the best work posted. This concerns me. Any advice?
Name withheld on request
The right stuff: Thank you for the piece about reading and writing. All kids do not learn the same, and Ms. Hay is making the same mistake that the school systems have made from the beginning of education. I am a 59-year-old man with ADD, so I speak from experience. May I suggest you read Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World, written by Jeffrey Freed.
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Social studies: The parasitic capitalist upper classes, fearing the loss of wealth and power -- and revolution in the streets if the secrets were to become widely known -- are always seeking ways to deflect capitalism's failures onto innocent individuals and their communities.
The "education reform movement" and standardized testing (CSAP) are simply examples of the many political and economic deflection policies directed at working Americans. Teachers are under attack not because they have failed, but because they have succeeded at raising student job expectations that corporate capitalism cannot fulfill.