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Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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Published: Sunday, 10/27/2002

Head Start study helps, not hurts

Your Oct. 8 editorial, “Giving poor kids short shrift,” contends that the research design of the national Head Start program evaluation is unethical. This is simply not true.

Congress mandated that study be done to provide a national analysis of the impact of Head Start. A rigorous methodological design, including random assignment and selection, was necessary to ensure that we would be able to answer the critical question, “What is the difference in outcomes for children who participate in Head Start versus those who do not participate in the program?”

In fact, the study methodology was deliberately planned to ensure that no fewer children would be served as a result of the study. For example, based both on analysis of historical data and the informed judgment of program operators, the study includes only those centers likely to have more applicants than they could serve even in the absence of the study. Moreover, the study procedures require that if vacancies exist by Oct. 15, children originally assigned to the control group would be enrolled to fill those vacancies.

Thus, the design ensures that selected centers will serve the same number of children as they otherwise would have if the study were not being conducted.

It is high time that the Head Start program, which has been around since 1965, be subjected to a national evaluation. As taxpayers, as stewards of the program, and as guardians of our children's growth and development, we should all be eager for the results of a scientific study that will measure Head Start's effectiveness.

WADE F. HORN

Assistant Secretary for Children and Families U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

If Saddam Hussein had been ousted from Iraq during the Gulf War in 1991, it would have done nothing to spare us from the horrific attacks of Sept. 11. No credible evidence links Iraq with al-Qaeda. Americans long to feel more secure against the threat of terrorism, yet we must ask ourselves whether launching an invasion of Iraq will do anything to fight terror. The answer appears to be no. Instead this invasion is likely to ignite further terrorism and bring grave danger.

U.S. containment efforts so far have restrained Saddam Hussein from using weapons of mass destruction. The CIA reports, however, that if the United States corners Saddam in an attack, he is likely to use those weapons against our forces or against Israel. Because President Bush has recently given Israel the green light, Israel may then retaliate against Iraq. Such a scenario pits a U.S.-Israeli alliance against an Arab nation, greatly destabilizing the region and endangering our troops. The death and destruction we cause in Iraq and our subsequent occupation of the country are likely to arouse greater Arab hatred against the U.S., resulting in a dramatic increase in terrorist attacks.

Military leaders warn that this war carries much greater threat to our troops than the first Persian Gulf war, especially since Saddam's overthrow will likely require urban combat in the streets of Baghdad. We must not subject our troops to these dangers in a futile war that cannot protect us from terrorism, a war that in fact will bring far more danger and even further fear into our lives.

We urge all those of like mind to speak out to stop the war before it starts.

DENNY and JOSIE SETZLER

Fremont, Ohio

The article about SNAP's (Survivors' Network of Those Abused by Priests) peaceful demonstration outside of St. Patrick's Historic Parish left me wondering how this scenario might have played out differently had the pastor and the parishioners extended a handshake or a hug to those demonstrating. That would have also “demonstrated” volumes.

LINDA WATERS

Sandusky, Ohio

The Blade's Oct. 21 editorial on “The North Korean challenge” must have been written by someone totally out of touch the last decade. The editorial examined the situation in North Korea after last week's disclosures. However, unbelievably, the piece tried to take the Bush Administration to task for its foreign policy.

The United Nations is now preparing to act on the return of weapons inspectors to Iraq. Does anyone truly believe this would have occurred but for the Bush Administration's foreign policy? After weeks of wailing in the media about the need to act under the auspices of the U.N., the Bush Administration now has the world ready to move. This is not an easy feat.

The Blade editorial examined the problems of tackling both North Korea and Iraq at the same time through a military response. Then, after answering their own question, the editorial wonders what the difference is. No mention is made of the explanation from Condoleezza Rice concerning the connections of Iraq and terrorism or the fact that Iraq has used such weapons in the past. Moreover, without a supply of oil, it is much more likely that North Korea would have to come to the table to negotiate.

The editorial then goes on to treat Blade readers like idiots when the blame for this situation is placed on the Bush Administration. In fact, Blade readers know about the 1994 agreement with North Korea that provided nuclear reactors with the assurance that the North Korean nuclear weapons program would be shut down. This na ve attempt at a foreign policy was the product of the Clinton Administration with the assistance of Jimmy Carter.

The Bush Administration has been left to deal with the failures of Mr. Clinton and Madeleine Albright. This pathetic editorial does not fool anyone. If you need proof, then check the polls.

GARY M. GOLDEN

Perrysburg

With the announcement that North Korea is, or soon may be, capable of deploying nuclear weapons, I wonder if The Blade, Marcy Kaptur, pacifiers, and other whiners may want to rethink their hands-off position pertaining to military action against Iraq. Just as surely as our intelligence community dropped the ball in discovering North Korea's nuclear weapons capability, the same could be true with Iraq.

There is no doubt that if President Bush declines to act, and Iraq, North Korea, or other rogue nation produces wholesale mass destruction, the naysayers will emerge from the whine cellar and lead the charge against the government.

JFK, during the Cuban missile crises, said that we cannot ask what will happen if we act but, rather, what will happen if we don't.

L.G. STREB

Perrysburg

Every time I read that a newborn baby has been abandoned to die after an unwanted pregnancy, I am incensed that we waste police time and money looking for the person who gave birth to this helpless child. The act of abandonment should be enough to allow the child to be adopted by loving people who want nothing more than to have a child.

Lucas County Children Services is now having to waste precious time deciding the fate of a child who was left to die by the person giving birth. I wonder why the parents of the girl who put her baby in the trash feel that they will do any better job raising this child than they did the daughter who left her baby to die.

If you have lawyers and money, you can call it “neonatocide syndrome.” If you don't, it's murder.

PAT SCHMIEG

Lambertville

If I were a political cartoonist this is how I would sum up our current situation: An oversized George Bush wearing a huge white cowboy hat and bristling with all kinds of high-powered rifles, jabbing his sharp spurs into the flanks of his balky horse named U.N., and tossing a Tarot death card with the words “I AM GOD” on Saddam's doorstep.

PHYLLIS PALMER

Lambertville



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