Your Letters: Arne Duncan; Boy Scouts

Host Scott Simon reads listener letters about Weekend Edition's interview with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and about the Boy Scouts of America.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

Time now for your letters.

(Soundbite of typing and music)

SIMON: Education Secretary Arne Duncan joined us on the show last week to talk about the Obama administrations plans for education reform, including a new competitive grant program called Race to the Top. Daniel Yano(ph) of San Francisco writes: Since when do we make states and then school districts within each state compete for federal funding? This is how we make education fair, accessible and equal for all students? No, this is how we privatize, segregate and destroy public education.

Also last week, we marked what would have been 75th birthday of author Richard Brautigan and discussed the reissue of his 1967 novel Trout Fishing in America. Lawrence Woncousky(ph) of Seattle writes: I remember that my girlfriend went into an outdoor sporting goods store near her home town of Helena, Montana and saw a display of Trout Fishing in America. She bought a copy and fell in love with it, so did we all. She went back to that store a week later to buy a copy for a friend and the display was gone.

She asked if they had sold them all and the store owner said, no, I sent them all back. It wasnt about trout fishing at all, it was nuts.

Finally, lots of letters about our segment last weekend observing the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. Tony Macula(ph) of Geneseo, New York was one of those who wrote in. We reached him at his home.

Mr. TONY MACULA (Listener): Thirty six years ago, I was a Scout of the star rank, and I have fond memories of Scouting. However, I found ironic that on the very day Daniel Schorr discussed the very real possibility of the U.S. military banning its homophobic Dont Ask, Dont Tell policy, you also had a long feature on the Boys Scouts of American and failed to even broach the subject of its homophobic policy that does not allow avowed homosexuals to be members. Why deprive homosexuals of the same great experiences that I had when I was young?

SIMON: Mr. Macula is correct. Supreme Court decision in 2000 allow the Boy Scouts to bar openly gay Scout leaders and members. And we failed to mention that policy in our interview with Marcos Nava, who heads up the Hispanic Initiatives for the Boy Scouts in America. The BSA representative stated that he wants to make scouting available to all boys, writes Sana Kusmin(ph) of Kansas City, Missouri. Easy remedy, she says: admit gays.

As always, we want to know your thinking and opinions. You can email us by going to npr.org and clicking on Contact Us. You can also find us on Twitter. WEEKEND EDITION's staff is at nprweekend, all one word, and I can be found on Twitter at nprscottsimon, all one word.

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