In his recent commentary, Dallas Dance, superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools, highlighted the need to transform our schools into "21st century learning environments" ("A way forward for county schools," Jan. 9). I wholeheartedly agree that schools need to be brought into the 21st century, but I think we are missing the mark.
Mr. Dance talks about school safety, but installing high-tech security equipment is not what's going to create safety in schools. Upstanding adult role models in the community are going to help create safety in schools. In this day and age, children regularly see adults, such as politicians — and even our president — name-calling and being disrespectful to others. Adults need to raise the bar and demonstrate appropriate behaviors so that children will have someone to emulate.
Another way school systems can evolve into the 21st century is by bringing back the arts. The brain of a child today is wired differently than the brain of a child 60 years ago. What we teach and how we teach needs to be different as well. When budgets get tight, one of the first extras to get cut is art, but children need to foster their creativity in order to think outside the box.
When you look at people like
Ben Shifrin, Baltimore
The writer is head of Jemicy School in Owings Mills, which educates students with