The Way of Jay
Taking the tonight show away from Jay Leno at the top of his game and ratings will go down as one of the biggest mistakes in broadcasting history [Sept. 14]. One would have to be a Jaywalking All-Star to doubt that he will succeed.
Mel Maurer, WESTLAKE, OHIO
If Leno is the future of television, I'm tuning out.
Sara Klebba, TRAVERSE CITY, MICH.
We do not watch any of the shows you list as competition to Leno. I believe NBC has hit on a gem. Leno has provided us some great humor to relax with before going to bed, and now we won't have to give up our sleep to get that.
Linda E. Ferro, CLEVELAND
Re your glowing report on "Popular" Republican Senator Charles Grassley and his efforts in the health-care debate [Sept. 14]: I'd like to tell the rest of the story. When Grassley talked about "pulling the plug on Grandma," he also pulled the plug on much of his support. The backlash has been tremendous, as evidenced partly by the many recent articles and letters in the Des Moines Register. Lifelong Republicans have vowed never to vote for him again. Iowa ranks third in the nation in percentage of people over 85 and, no doubt, in Medicare recipients, so we know what a government-run, one-payer system can do, and most of us are demanding that a public option be included. So when Grassley puts on his flannel shirt and poses for pictures on a red tractor in his campaign for re-election next year, he will face an uphill battle.
Priscilla Brown, CEDAR FALLS, IOWA
You Call That Reform?
What I learned from TIME's story on Education Secretary Arne Duncan is that Duncan's only experience before he became head of Chicago schools was helping out in his mother's after-school tutoring program [Sept. 14]. His plan is to take nationwide the unproven, and not terribly successful, approaches he used in Chicago schools and also expand the Bush Administration's ineffective testing program. All because he thinks U.S. schools are "dysfunctional," despite analyses that show the primary problem is poverty, not the quality of our schools. American students who do not live in poverty have done well on international tests. Some reform!
Stephen Krashen, LOS ANGELES
It is unfair to compare playing basketball in a rough neighborhood to fixing our failing schools. Passing the buck to teachers won't fix the problem either. I believe most teachers, like myself, try day after day to reach our students. Yet I am not a parent. I don't make sure my students go to bed at a reasonable time or make them a healthy breakfast. I also cannot control the impact of drugs, poverty and homelessness. No education-reform bill could possibly fix what is really wrong with our failing schools: life outside the classroom.
Elizabeth Mirkowski, WAUKESHA, WIS.
Duncan and others eager to shake up education are leaving out of the discussions a key group: students. We may not--yet--have attended Harvard like Duncan, but we can explain which methods work, and why, better than any other group. Please don't leave us out.
Allison Wu, NEWTON, MASS.
A New Direction in Japan