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Ethnic Balance on Scholar Teams

May 24, 1985

I am aghast at the decision by the Los Angeles Unified School District to have the high school academic decathlon teams "reflect the sex and ethnic makeup" of the student body. This is clearly discrimination against students whose forte is academics. No other high school team reflects a cross section of the student body, whether it is a sports team or not.

Why do they require "B" and "C" students to be on the team? Is it the habit of the school district to reward mediocrity? The purpose of the school district is to provide the best education for the students that is possible, and encourage, not discourage, a student to seek academic excellence.

I am in total agreement with Rose Gilbert who says she "fields the best team I can get." I can think of no other competition in our society today that strives to field the most average team. Paul Possemato's idea is not "a gutsy and courageous move," as Dan Spetner, a coach at Dorsey High, thinks, but is shortsighted and moronic. Was Possemato picked for his position because he was the most average and representative of the applicants? With this new idea of his, I am inclined to think so.

ALAN R. ERTLE

Los Angeles

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