I was introduced to Republican Third Congressional District candidate Tom MacArthur as "a conservative who can win," so I decided to check it out for myself. To my surprise and excitement, MacArthur is exactly as advertised: He is pro-life, supports the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, and backs a strong military that keeps us safe at home. MacArthur isn't a career politician, either. Rather, the former Randolph Township mayor is from the private sector, where he started in an entry-level job and built himself into a huge success, helping to create well-paying jobs along the way. I have seen the desperate attacks by Steve Lonegan calling MacArthur a liberal. But when you take the time to examine MacArthur's record, you realize Lonegan's attacks simply aren't true.
Karen R. Smith, Columbus
For the real reasons for the precarious financial situation of the School District, look first to the challenging environment and a long history of poor decisions by district officials, which have resulted in 67,000 students currently seeking a better educational opportunity in a charter school and another 30,000 on waiting lists ("Moody's warns on district's bonds," May 7). Charters are public schools that operate on fewer taxpayer dollars than traditional schools. They are not the cause of the problem, but rather a symptom, and a potential solution, to a much more fundamental problem. So long as people focus on attacking the symptom rather than the cause, there will never be a resolution to the serious challenges that must be overcome to provide a quality education to every child in Philadelphia.
Robert Fayfich, executive director, Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools, King of Prussia
The No Child Left Behind Act, while well-intentioned, has created a climate of anxiety in our schools ("Teachers can't be cheaters," May 9). When test scores do not show significant improvement, neighborhood schools find themselves under threat of closure. Changing answers on standardized tests was a widespread practice intended only to secure the best educational environment for our children. Prosecuting these teachers and administrators is ridiculous.
Maxine Schwartz, Willow Grove
Statement on Rice
As an alumnus of Rutgers University, I was pleased to see that protests led former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to decide not to speak at the commencement ("War on words," May 7). This was not a blow to free speech as a letter writer contended. Rice is free to speak where she wants, and the protesters were not denying that right. What the protesters were saying was that Rutgers should not celebrate and reward someone whose actions caused the unnecessary deaths of thousands of people in Iraq on the basis of lies told by Rice and other Bush administration officials.
John Braxton, Philadelphia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Known by his issue
Pursuing a resolution to an issue that doesn't exist, while wasting millions in scarce state funds, seems to be Gov. Corbett's signature dish ("Corbett abandons voter ID appeal," May 9).
Dennis Fisher, Broomall
Linked peace hopes
Two recent letter writers seeking to refute Trudy Rubin's fair and well-informed commentary on the failure of peace talks between Israel and Palestine were about as far from reality as possible ("Deal breakers," May 5). A secure peace, with justice for the Palestinians, is the only hope for a safe and secure future for both nations.
Silvia Tennenbaum, Haverford
Clearing the record