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Dec. 30, 1996

By Mari Maldonado

New Year resolution:

report more responsibly

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Christmas 1996 is now Christmas Past and the new year is just around
the corner.

Being that every other resolution I've made in the past has been
broken, I'd like to say this year, "why bother?"

This past year has been an interesting one to say the least, but then
again, working here usually promises all sorts of intriguing
experiences. I often tell my co-workers that any other job would be
boring after working at the newspaper.

Each day - normal day - brings us accusations, praise, promises, broken
promises and needless to say, many, many trials. I'm propelled to put
them out of my mind, but I'm the sort of person who tends to hold on to
them and hopefully learn from them.

So I definitely have to say that a more responsible resolution would
have to be to continue this practice. Or perhaps I'm just setting myself
for more mayhem.

I read in an article out of U.S. News and World Report <fn9>that those
who drafted the Consitution definitely knew what they were doing when
they included in First Amendment - a recourse for keeping the public

The article describes the press as sort of "...civilian inspector

Take for instance, the police report. As controversial as it may seem I
continue to do it because it's my job and it is derived from actions
taken by public officials.

And who pays these public officials' salaries? You!

Therefore, you have the right to know.

That's how I see it, and that's what I feel this column is trying to

Merely my observation. Take it or leave it.

Anyhow, have a happy and prosperous New Year. I'll be here to continue
bringing you the scoops that will shape 1997.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mari Maldonado is an Enterprise reporter whose column
appears each Monday.


Rap the knuckles of school trustees

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A lot of silliness passes for educational theory these days, but the
Oakland (Calif.) School District has cornered the market. Last week its
school board voted unanimously to classify ``ebonics'' - the slang
English spoken by many black Americans - as a separate language. Besides
making the district a national laughingstock, this lame-brained policy
could threaten the education of the very students who need it most.

How many job interviewers would hire a student who says something like,
``I be graduated from Oakland High.''?

Like Cajun, ebonics is a dialect of English, not a separate language.
Just as some Americans use the word ``ain't'' in private but not in
polite conversation if they want to be taken seriously, black students
shouldn't be encouraged to think that the slang they use in casual
conversation is acceptable in school and in job interviews. ...

Oakland officials argue that children who can't be taught in standard
English should be taught in ebonics as a way of ``maintaining the
legitimacy and richness of such language and to facilitate their
acquisition and mastery of English language skills.'' That would be a
tragic mistake and will actually delay their mastery of standard
English. They should be spoken to early and often in standard English
and encouraged to use ebonics only in private conversations.

As the Rev. Jesse Jackson pointed out, Oakland's ebonics decision is an
``unacceptable surrender ... it's teaching down to our children.''

Time and again it's been shown that children are capable of delivering
on the expectations educators have for them. If Oakland officials expect
black children to learn English, they will. To expect otherwise is an
insult and a grave disservice to the children in their charge.
-- The News Tribune, Tacoma, Wash.
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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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