Thursday, March 25, 2010

TIMES LETTERS: Teachers as Target #1, Permit Plan Hurts Students

LA Times Letters to the Editor |  24 March

Target No. 1

Re “It starts with good teachers,” Editorial, March 17

Teachers are getting used to the fact that it's the season to either demonize them (because they are responsible for all the ills of our society) or patronize them (we're sure there are some good teachers out there). It's impressive to see The Times do both in one editorial.
Teachers are always heartened to know that at the moment when the educational system is being de-funded, they can be expected to improve performance and achieve magic. The Times is not smarter than a fifth-grader.
Philip Brimble
Los Angeles

School plan hurts students

Re “Students as dollar signs,” Editorial, March 18

School board member Steve Zimmer has submitted a resolution to the board to exempt 10th- and 11th-grade students already enrolled in high school from the new inter-district transfer policy (12th-graders are already exempt). I hope the rest of the board will support him.
It is not good policy to pull high schoolers away from their current curricula, their extracurricular activities, their sports teams and their friends. How motivating would that be? Don't we want to encourage high schoolers to stay the course?
The most egregious part of the policy change is that Supt. Ramon C. Cortines did not notify parents in a timely way. I learned of it last week when I stopped by our local high school to pick up a renewal permit. The application deadlines for private, magnet and most charter schools have already passed, leaving us no recourse but to send our children to schools that do not suit them -- or to sell our homes and move.
Lynda Mitsakos
Playa Del Rey

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