Letters to the Editor

05/18 What You’re Saying: Mark Rodin, and Jeanne Allen

Voters beware

Durham County's next district attorney may find her position a taxing one.

Voters have elected Satana Deberry, who according to one law enforcement source I know last saw a courtroom 18 years ago. My source says Deberry has six years experience as a criminal defense attorney.

That doesn't mean Deberry will fail, but it definitely points out the necessity for voters to carefully examine each candidate's work history and qualifications. Although no Republican filed to run for the district attorney's race it is still imperative voters make an effort to show up either during early voting or on primary day to choose a candidate with the most practice and court experience.

Are we in for the another bad experience like Mike Nifong and Tracey Cline? We'll soon find out.

Meanwhile, our sheriff-elect has not been a law enforcement officer since 2010 when he resigned as Hillsborough's police chief and lost a race for Orange County sheriff. Clarence Birkhead then lost to Sheriff Mike Andrews in 2014, but problems at the jail cost Andrews his job. Will Birkhead succeed? It's more of a challenge to be the chief law enforcement officer in Durham than police chief at Duke University or Hillsborough. There's also some controversy regarding decertification of Hillsborough's department when Birkhead was chief.

Voters beware and watch.

Mark Rodin


Fallacious argument

As laudable as the intentions expressed in the article ‘We won’t be a Trojan Horse for dismantling public schools” (May 11) may be, this opinion piece is wrong and its conclusions badly miss the mark.

First, these young educators should know that charter schools ARE public schools, which simply operate outside the confines, restrictions (and often the failures) of traditional public schools. Second, the real Trojan Horse in this debate is the suggestion that charter schools are efforts to re-segregate schools.

When the fallacious “re-segregation” argument was floated last year by teachers unions leaders last year, they were rebuffed by civil rights leaders across the nation, such as Dr. Howard Fuller at Marquette University, Johnny Taylor of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Donald Hense, former Stand for Children leader.

This argument is part of a national strategy by the labor unions to eradicate charter schools and the opportunities they afford parents, students and teachers outside of a system, not because they are unsuccessful, but precisely because they work and challenge their influence and power.

Educators and all citizens should be demanding answers to why charter schools receive less than 75 cents on the dollar, while schools that fail are still being funded. The N.C. Association of Educators, an affiliate of NEA, should be spending their time leaning in on that, not walking out on kids.

Jeanne Allen

Washington, D.C.

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