I hope that Montgomery County public schools do really adopt an “integrated” approach to teaching money management (“Show them the money,” by Jennifer Miller, April 15). A great place to start would be to eliminate the due date and deadline policy: Students have time past the “due date” to turn in the assignment — they also have a “deadline,” which is on average three days later! I try to teach my foster child that my credit cards don’t have this option — if I don’t pay Visa on time, I get a huge penalty. There are no similar penalties at MCPS. I’m just saying. …
Maura Solomon, Germantown
In 1991, I started my second career as a college professor. As a CPA, I began teaching accounting and finance. The first thing I noticed about the students I was assigned to teach was their lack of financial literacy. For years, I taught accounting with a sprinkling of personal finance. I felt I could not properly prepare the students for a career in accounting without helping them understand the basic skills they would need to survive in the world. I have also thought that if I ever had the resources, I would start a foundation to begin work to change high school curriculum to include three life skill courses. Besides a lack of financial literacy, many of the students I taught also seemed to lack two other life skills — personal relationship and parenting skills. Much of those two skills are acquired through life experiences, but there are some basic skills that could mitigate the “pain” of learning. In the meantime, I am thrilled to read that Maryland and Virginia are beginning to add personal finance and economic courses. Your article has renewed my interest in helping students learn the skills that will assist them with life in today’s economy.
Richard M. Piazza, Woodbridge
Thank you for “Animal Lovers U” [by Julia Duin, April 15]. There are far too many college degrees in how to abuse and kill animals for a living — mainly by forcing them to become food and experimental subjects — so it’s refreshing that there are finally courses on how to help animals.
Holly Sternberg, Annandale, President, Compassion for Animals
Gene Weingarten’s column “A Pee Party Republican” (Below the Beltway, April 8), reinforces my contention that the process by which Mr. Weingarten has made it to the top is quite simple — it’s the process of elimination. His repeated references to urinary and defecatory bodily functions continue to constitute a major portion of his section of the Sunday Magazine, a feature of which I would not be proud, were I The Washington Post.
Beyond that, Mr. Weingarten continues to insist, at conferences I’ve attended, that all humor is hostile. My view is that he’s only partially correct – his humor is!
Leonard Greenberg, Sterling