Love-Hate Mail 

Letters from readers.
Do not pass go, do not collect $200 Thank you for your editorial this week identifying the inconvenient truth about our public schools: the school board/teachers’ union cabal has a monopoly on public education (Garrigan, Nov. 23). The school board’s refusal to grant charter school applications is akin to the MNEA’s turning away donations for teacher bonuses. It’s about preventing competition and maintaining the status quo. Monopolies, of course, benefit no one but the monopolists themselves, i.e., the public school establishment. No matter how many task forces are convened and studies are conducted, no matter how many hundreds of millions of dollars are thrown at Nashville’s public schools, things are unlikely to improve until the consumers of public education—parents, children, taxpayers—have a real choice. This means not just charter schools, but vouchers, which have been proven time and again to work, particularly with the at-risk students that the public school monopoly continually fails. As the bumper stickers remind us, education is the most important thing our community does. Why then do we refuse to allow people to compete for the honor of teaching our children? Why do we continue to believe that a monopoly—which, by definition, has no incentive to improve—is the answer?


DiVine intervention I just wanted to express my disappointment in your piece regarding DiVine (Public Art, Nov. 23). I do not often pick up your publication, so I am not familiar with the writer’s style, but this feature certainly struck me as a malicious dig on one of the keynote attractions of the resort. As an employee in the events department at Opryland, I speak to countless people daily who love the performances by DiVine. There are seven people in the entire world who can do this act. You should feel privileged that a local facility was willing to bring an entertainment opportunity like DiVine to Nashville, at no charge I might add. I don’t know who George Balanchine is, so I guess that proves that you are smarter than me, with your artistic wit and big vocabulary. But here’s a name I’m sure you’ll know: Walt Disney. And one of his parks in Florida is one of the only other places where you will find DiVine performances. DiVine is a class act who thrills the young and the young at heart five days a week. I count my blessings that I get exposed to art like DiVine on a daily basis in my work. MIKE (Old Hickory) Weeds Despite my unhappiness with the position in the column about DiVine at the Opryland Hotel (Public Art, Nov. 23), I am more upset with the pointlessness of the content. My high school paper, of which I am news editor, is currently dealing with a similar story—one serving only the purpose of being rude, of hurting someone. The story was a commentary about a local talk show host who our writer claimed was rude and ridiculous. Afterward, we were unsure why this article was written at all. I wonder the same about this column. Why? What purpose does this columnist hope to serve by insulting the performer, the company and those who do in fact enjoy her shows? TAYLOR BUCK (Gig Harbor, Wash.)


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