Pubdate: Thu, 11 May 2000 Date: 05/11/2000 Source: Tahoe World (CA) Author: Steve Kubby I was shocked and disappointed to read that anyone is celebrating DARE after all the damage it has done to young people ("DARE celebrates 10 years at KB" in the May 4 Tahoe World). Studies on DARE consistently show it is a failure. So dismal is the DARE record, the U.S. Department of Education refuses to include DARE on its list of programs whose effectiveness is proven. Not only is DARE a failure, it is an expensive failure. The real cost of DARE is hidden from the public. DARE costs about $5 a student, which covers each 5th grader's DARE workbook, T-shirt and ruler. But police time adds another $20-$50 per student, depending on the department and the number of classes. Nationally, DARE officers are paid twice as much as teachers, for a job that requires far less education - or risk. DARE also takes up valuable students' time, which may even be an even bigger reason to junk DARE. Fifth- and sixth-graders need math, science and reading. While they might need the skills to resist drugs, they don't need a program shown to have no lasting effect on drug use. As precious as class time is in a 180-day school year, pulling students out of math to listen to DARE officers hardly makes sense. Steve Kubby, Olympic Valley, Ca.