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Principal Defended

June 01, 1986

Regarding the article carried in the May 25 Westside section on dissension in the Culver City Middle School:

The article glosses over the fact that Dr. Ann Picker (the principal) has the solid support of the Culver City School Board and the superintendent as well as the large majority of the teachers at the middle school. This is a situation involving a small group of activist teachers (primarily union members) who have a history of resisting decisions made by the school district.

In the specific instance cited by the article, the superintendent personally has concluded that the funds in question are not available. The small group, however, will not accept this decision and, as the implementer of school district decisions, the principal is a convenient target for their complaints. This is not a new problem at the middle school; at least one of these activists has taken credit in the past for her role in getting rid of the previous principal.

By raising a public fuss these agitators hope to impose their own personal preferences on the school system. It is particularly interesting to note that the concerns expressed by these individuals are focused entirely on themselves rather than on the quality of education provided for the students and the necessity for attaining good educational results under conditions of limited funding. It may be uncomfortable for such individuals to deal with a principal whose expectations are focused on academic excellence, high standards of classroom teaching and putting in a full working day. This, however, hardly justifies their vicious personal attacks and their persistent efforts to disrupt the school as a means of forcing the discontinuation of changes desired by the school district.

Overall, this is a situation in which those parents who want higher quality education for their children would do well to monitor closely.

WALTER J. PICKER

Sunnyvale

Walter Picker is Ann Picker's husband.

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