opinions » oped


Administration's new ID policy is more than the sum of its punishments

By Priyanka Gokhale | Oct. 11, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

At a glance, Blair's new ID Policy seems daunting and uncalled for. Saturday detention? For not wearing a small plastic rectangle? However, when examined more thoroughly, the administration's new ID policy is a sure step forward.


"Identifying" the problems

By Jessica Cutler | Oct. 10, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Even Blazers who agree IDs have a security benefit have to admit there are everyday inconveniences to the plastic cards. After all, they cost Blair money to create and replace, they are small and easy to lose, they get tangled in backpack straps and jewelry, and few students even understand their purpose. If Blair administration would like students to wear IDs, resorting to detention, suspension and other major punishments for intimidation is not the best way. The ID process should be convenient and fair to all students. While the current proposal's inclusion of two free temporary IDs is a good start, it has a long way to go before it will be fair.


Students unite over ID policy

By Pia Nargundkar | Oct. 10, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Since the administration's new ID policy was unveiled over a week ago on Silver Chips Online, 178 comments have been made on the story and over 350 people have voted on the ID policy-related poll.


Better late than never

By Jessica Cutler | Sept. 30, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Congratulations to Harvard and Princeton for finally recognizing the flaws of early notification applications.


Harvard should look closer at its reasons for eliminating early action

By Lois Bangiolo | Sept. 28, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

At a time when college frenzy can begin the moment a student steps through the doors of high school, Harvard has just taken a step toward making the frenzy last longer.


A Purple solution

By Boris Vassilev | Sept. 22, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Every year, 195 million trips are taken on our capital's overcrowded and under-budgeted Metro rail. The "Purple Line" also known as the Bi-County Connector, is a proposed extension of the Washington area's railways. Connecting key stations like Bethesda, Silver Spring and New Carrolton, this expansion would offer the average commuter a break from long traffic delays and offer a cheaper, cleaner alternative to driving.


A policy headed for disaster

By Poorva Singal | Sept. 16, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

After last spring's test administration of the High School Assessments (HSA) for Algebra, Biology, Government and English, the U.S. Department of Education made the decision to allow Advanced Placement tests to be used as a substitute for the HSA so students would not have to be burdened with so much test taking for graduation. One flaw, however, mars the plan: students do not find out the results of their AP exams until after they would typically take the HSA in May.


Hezbollah needs to go

By Pia Nargundkar | Aug. 10, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

While most Americans are lounging the summer heat away, going to baseball games and taking dives in the neighborhood pool, 6,000 miles away a conflict rages on in the Middle East. For the past three weeks, Israel and the militant Shiite group, Hezbollah, in southern Lebanon, have been engaged in fierce fighting. The daily headlines are grim: scores of innocent children killed in Lebanon, barrages of rocket fire raining on Israel. Hundreds of both Israeli and Lebanese civilians have been killed or wounded in the conflict, as well as four UN observers and a handful of foreign nationals. The United States needs to take a more active approach if we want to disarm a malicious terrorist organization and stop the horrific murder of Lebanese civilians.


The questions presented by the Padilla case

By Natasha Prados | April 19, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

The Supreme Court opted on April 3 not to review the federal government's powers to detain U.S. citizens as enemy combatants, according to The Washington Post.


Teacher pensions: Solution still pending

By Isaac Arnsdorf | April 6, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

For a state that prides itself on its schools, Maryland's pension plan is an embarrassment and an obstacle to attracting and retaining quality teachers. Maryland's teacher pension plan ranks 51st in the nation - dead last. Retired Maryland school employees receive just 38 percent of their peak salary, half as much as in neighboring Pennsylvania, according to the Maryland State Teachers Association (MSTA).


Fear-mongering in Congress

By Jordan Fein | April 6, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Members of Congress have once again proved that they are unable to differentiate between the country's best interest and their own.


Montgomery homeowners shouldn't like Ike

By Alex Hyder | March 30, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

The warm weather that usually comes with spring has only just begun to assert itself, but the race for Montgomery County Executive seems to be growing hotter by the day, as could be seen in a debate held in Silver Spring last week between candidates Ike Leggett and Steve Silverman. Despite leaving many issues still unsettled, especially issues regarding mass transit and the purple line, both candidates left this early debate having thoroughly established their platforms when it comes to real estate and hopring and the warm weather that usually comes with it has only just begun to assert itselfme ownership.


Reckless abandonment

By Natasha Prados | March 15, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

A depressed sophomore contemplating suicide who checked himself into a George Washington University Hospital was sent a letter by the University's administration stating that his "endangering behavior" could result in his suspension or expulsion unless he withdrew from school, according to a March 10 article published in The Washington Post. In the meantime, Jordan Nott, the student, was barred from the campus.


Silver Spring's own bridge to nowhere

By Alex Hyder | March 13, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

It rises majestically from the Forest Glen Metro stop, flying high into the air, running parallel to Georgia avenue before soaring over the Beltway on- and off-ramps, ducking under the Beltway itself and making a landing next to what, in the mind of some bureaucrat, is a spot of vital importance to pedestrians: the parking lot of some town homes.


CPR: A new tool for teachers

By Ethan Kuhnhenn | March 9, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Two weeks ago, Maryland State Senators passed "Andrew's Law," a provision named for former Blair student Andrew Helgeson, that would require every Maryland high school to have an automatic external defillibator. State legislators have taken the first step to improve an inadequate environment for student health in schools but why stop at defibrillators? MCPS should make cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and First Aid training a requisite for all teachers at all levels of education in the county.


Students need better representation

By Adam Yalowitz | March 3, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

While legislators engage adults about issues they think voters care about, they can be quick to leave students out of the democratic process and overlook their concerns. Although most students do not vote, they do represent a large portion of the population - but even in an area as politically active as Montgomery County, their views are rarely heard.


In want of women

By Natasha Prados | March 3, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

In a country where women have been enslaved as recently as 1996, a woman has been elected president.


Alito will shift the Supreme Court to extreme right

By Jordan Fein | March 2, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Court of Appeals Judge Samuel Alito, a staunch conservative, replaced moderate Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on Jan. 31. In his career as a judge, Alito's radical ideology has fueled an archaic, reactionary interpretation of the Constitution that he seems to value over the common good of the American people.


Letter grades leave students in the numbers game

By Jason Meer | March 2, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

A student brings home a perfect report card. It is an ideal situation: Parents and child are happy, and MCPS is patting itself on the back for successfully educating another pupil. But, this situation also illustrates one of the main tools MCPS uses to maintain its reputation for stellar academics: grade inflation through letter grading.


Censorship: Google's newest business strategy

By Lois Bangiolo | Feb. 23, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

"In line with local laws and policies, parts of the result are not listed." Written in Chinese characters, this message appears across the bottom of a web page after a search. Unfortunately Google, a company that has prided itself on its accurate, unbiased web searches, has hypocritically decided that censorship is acceptable when there is money to be made.


Straight from the books and on the right track

By Alexis Egan | Feb. 2, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Gone are the "good old days" of our parents' youth when the movies that Hollywood made were actually good, original ideas, or at least did not focus entirely on sex and violence. Although most critics believe that the increasing presence of violence and sex in films is the biggest issue in the movie-making industry, the real problem is the lack of new ideas.


Immigration policy needs an overhaul

By Natasha Prados | Jan. 11, 2006, midnight | In Op/Ed »

In an attempt to limit overcrowding, a zoning ordinance passed Dec. 29 requires Manassas, Virginia residents to live only with immediate family members. After being widely criticized as discriminatory, the ordinance was suspended, according to a Jan. 5 article in The Washington Post. That such a law was passed in the first place is evidence of an emerging pattern of growing prejudice towards immigrants, a pattern perpetuated by current immigration policy.


On APs, philosophical disagreement

By Armin Rosen | Dec. 22, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

He's been writing in support of Advanced Placement (AP) tests for over two decades, formulated a controversial and nationally respected ranking system for high schools based solely on the number of AP tests administered, declared APs the catalyst of a golden age in American education and said that APs will soon overtake the SAT as the standard measure of high school learning. But Washington Post education reporter Jay Mathews is no sellout. He's a utilitarian.


Two thumbs down

By Ethan Kuhnhenn | Dec. 21, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

School Superintendent Jerry Weast snuck one by the Board of Education earlier this semester by imposing a regulation that prevents teachers from showing movies rated R and PG-13 to high school and middle school students. Between this and the "sex-ed video" debacle, Montgomery County Public Schools seem to be headed down a path in the wrong direction.


Pro/Con: The state of sportsmanship

By Ethan Kuhnhenn Abe Schwadron | Dec. 20, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

What ever happened to the golden days of professionalism in sports? Gone is the era when the NBA's Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing were heroes to young athletes. In today's money-centered sporting world, kids have more bad role models than good role models to look up to.

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