opinions » oped

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.

Pro/Con: Academic eligibility requirements

By Phillip Allen Josh Zipin | Dec. 12, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

To participate in Montgomery County high school athletics, students must maintain a 2.0 grade point average. For some student-athletes this isn't a problem, but for others the academic requirements are a formidable hurdle. Some people argue that academics should not play a role in determining who gets to play sports and that the best athletes in a school should represent it in athletic competition, but others believe that school takes precedence. Students, parents and administrators all have an opinion on this contested topic. So the question is, are these academic restrictions justified?

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's...Christmas?

By Natasha Prados | Nov. 23, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Walking into the Giant mid-October, looking to purchase some Halloween candy for pre-Halloween taste testing (for the safety of the children, of course), I stopped short. Towering before me was not any sort of ghost, ghoul or goblin or even black and orange banners that might be expected around Halloween. There weren't even any turkeys, pilgrims or traditional Thanksgiving decorations. Instead, I found myself face-to-face with a towering inflatable Santa Claus snow globe.

Harry Potter, circa 2040

By Armin Rosen | Nov. 21, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

It's impossible to say which elements of this bloated pop culture of ours will find traction in a future whose tastes we can only predict. No one can say for sure if Harry Potter will join Sherlock Holmes, Frodo and Dracula on the short-list of great British fictional characters, or if the works of J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis will be held in equal esteem. But this is a distinct possibility. It wouldn't surprise me either if future PhD theses explored everything from the septet's religious symbolism to its social and political allegory to its treatment of the teenage psyche. There hopefully won't be a lot of it, but there will be Harry Potter scholarship. One of these days.

Broken promises

By Bridget Egan | Nov. 18, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Sudan is a topic of controversy and horror - a country packed with more death and terror than a thousand scary movies. Why then do United Nations officials seem more scared by the concept of entering the country than the actual crimes being committed?

Libby's indictment: deserving yet unsatisfactory

By Payal Patnaik | Nov. 16, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Joseph Wilson, the CIA envoy sent to confirm the Africa claim in 2002, wrote an editorial to the "New York Times" about the Iraq-Niger deals being false. This attempt of righting the wrong caused more harm than good. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff and national security advisor, leaked the Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA operative to several journalists. Libby sought to discredit Wilson believing his actions to be subversive, blurring his purpose, and ruining the career of his wife, Plame, by revealing her position at the CIA.

Unsafe zone?

By Alexis Egan | Oct. 25, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Thirty-one percent of students nationwide ages 12 to 17 know someone their age who carries a gun. In just one year, 20 percent of all public schools experienced at least one violent crime. In the 1997-1998 school year, 20,286 physical attacks involving weapons occurred at schools.

A supreme mistake

By Alex Hyder | Oct. 24, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

George W. Bush has always billed himself as a "uniter, not a divider." Now, at long last, the President has lived up to his promise: the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court has united secularist liberals and hard-line conservatives — against his decision.

Give us a break!

By Eve Gleichman Devon Madison | Oct. 12, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Remember that awful Diflucan commercial with the middle-aged women running up and down escalators in distress, all to the beat of the nauseating "Gotta Go"? theme music? Maybe you don't; after all, its infamy did put an abrupt halt to the annoying advertisement, and we haven't really seen much more of that campaign from the bladder fixer-upper. But now, whether wanted or not, we Blazers can't help but wonder why we constantly find ourselves singing the catchy jingle during the school day.

The answer to our energy crisis is not in Alaska

By Mary Donahue | Sept. 30, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

While it is painful to look at the gas pump these days, we may indirectly benefit from $3 to $4 gas prices. In response, people may start to walk more and consider alternative energy sources, such as hybrid vehicles, over gas-guzzling SUVs. But these environmentally beneficial changes are futile if we just use the rise in gas prices as an excuse to drill for oil in Alaska.

Editorial: We urge you not to march

By | Sept. 21, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Blazers frustrated by America's course in Iraq have probably been itching for an event like Saturday's anti-war march on and near the National Mall. It is a chance for Blazers to voice their displeasure with what most consider to be a tragic and misguided policy, and a chance for the American anti-war movement to show its strength and organization. But anybody considering taking part in this event must take heed: they won't be marching for what they think they are marching for.

Government falters in the wake of Hurricane Katrina

By Merlyn Deng | Sept. 16, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Hurricane Katrina swept through Louisiana two weeks ago, leaving roughly 80 percent of the city underwater and thousands of helpless residents stranded on their rooftops waiting for government rescue. Where was the government? Instead of responding immediately with all available resources, the government was hog-tied as congressmen and lawyers in Washington D.C. argued for days over the legitimacy of relief efforts. Although rescue workers were eventually able to evacuate and transport the majority of the residents to safety, the government response took its toll, resulting in unnecessary sickness and death. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the agency in charge of handling disaster relief efforts, should look back on Hurricane Katrina as a reminder to never hesitate or ignore the threats of a natural disaster in the future.

Dividends at the pump

By Alex Hyder | Sept. 12, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Leave Blair, cross Route 29 and you will encounter a surprising number: $3.19. No, this isn't the price of a small steak-and-cheese sub at Jerry's; it is the price of a gallon of regular gasoline at the Four Corners Shell.

9/11 four years later

By Armin Rosen | Sept. 11, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

In a 1989 essay State Department planner Francis Fukuyama made an ambitious claim; a sweeping and overarching declaration of not just the end of fifty years of ideological warfare, but millennia of human intellectual development; a claim simple in concept, but infinitely complicated in its implications. In an essay entitled "The End of History," Fukuyama postulated that the democratic revolutions of 1989 were "not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.

Your thoughts: September 11th

By | Sept. 10, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

To honor the four-year anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, Silver Chips Online invites its readers to post comments regarding the tragic event. What has the terrorist attack changed? How does it still affect your life? Has the meaning of the event changed in the eyes of the American public in the four years? We invite anyone visiting our site to answer these questions and leave your thoughts in this public reflection of 9/11.

Your thoughts: Hurricane Katrina

By | Sept. 8, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Silver Chips Online has assembled a collection of student and faculty reflections on Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. We invite readers to share their thoughts.

The summer of orange and blue

By Armin Rosen | Aug. 21, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

I don't know if this rumor made it to America or not, but sometime during the middle of July, during the third week of my six-week trip to Israel with the Nesiya Institute, word spread that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had suffered a heart attack. When one of the Israelis traveling with my program told me that this had been a falsehood, most likely spread by anti-disengagement proponents, I wondered how it was that so juvenile and unsubstantiated a rumor could take hold in a country as westernized as Israel. That would never happen in America, I said aloud. But then again, replied the Israeli, America has never had anything like the Gaza disengagement.

A balance needed between old and new

By Meaghan Mallari | July 31, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Bright lights, sidewalk music and the coming and going of hundreds of people everyday are the new Downtown Silver Spring. Over the past few years, in an effort fueled by the hard work of Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan, Silver Spring's old buildings, crime and trash have been systematically replaced with bright colors, music, a multiplex movie theater and chain food stores.

When Free Trade isn't fair

By Ethan Kuhnhenn | July 27, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Lindon Tobias Maldonado and his family scratch out a living by farming beans and corn in the high altitudes of El Salvador's Cuscatalan Department. Maldonado is a self-sustenance farmer — the crops he grows turn into the food that he and his family eat every night. The crops that are left over are sold in larger towns for a small, yet significant amount of money — money that will be used to pay for medical treatment, new tools and maybe even a plane ticket that could send his nephew to study in America.

A panda prescription for an ailing zoo

By Mary Donahue | July 24, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Between the continuous death of animals and a deteriorating physical appearance, the national treasure status of the Washington National Zoo seems to have been lost. But that glorious status can be restored by none other than a baby panda, roughly the size of a stick of butter. The baby panda cub's birth will not only help restore the positive image of the zoo, but the cub will also provide a much needed moral boost in light of recent animal deaths.

Are we really safe?

By Alexis Egan | July 11, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Even though these words were spoken nearly 250 years ago by Benjamin Franklin, they hold just as true today. In light of the recent terrorist attacks in London, it is reasonable to assume that more changes will be made to American security.

Separation of reason and state

By Simon Kanter | July 6, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Less than a week before graduation, the Montgomery County Public School system informed Montgomery Blair High School that it might not be permitted to hold the ceremony at the Jericho City of Praise, the 10,000-seat church that has hosted Blair's ceremony for the last three years. This was the result of a complaint filed by concerned parents to the advocacy group Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (AUSCS), which immediately notified MCPS.

Slots are a gamble no matter how you play 'em

By Natasha Prados | June 30, 2005, midnight | In Op/Ed »

As candidates gear up for the 2006 Maryland gubernatorial election, the introduction of slot machines appears to be the most controversial issue of the campaign. The issue divides the candidates for the Democratic nomination: Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley and Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan, both of whom have taken a position different from that of incumbent Republican Governor Robert L. Ehrlich.

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