During the last 15 years, the Long Beach school district has gone through a major transition. It has gone from being majority white to predominantly minority. Long Beach has the largest Cambodian community of any city in the United States. The combination of immigration and increased birth rate throughout the city has resulted in insufficient classroom space. The influx of non-English-speaking children caused a dramatic increase in the requirement for bilingual teachers, and the district had a relatively short period of time in which to deal with the situation.
Now, on top of what are already severely pressing problems, it is forced to deal with Ms. Voetee's desire to run through the hallways tearing down Halloween decorations (Southeast/Long Beach sections, Nov. 6). Is the Easter bunny safe or is he the next on her hit list? And how about "Snow White?" What respectable Christian woman would live with seven men?
The parents at Kettering Elementary School were alarmed by the drop in reading scores. Due to the busing program, many children who were performing below grade level were merged into the regular classrooms. The parents were largely responsible for the establishment of the PEAK magnet program, which brought education majors from Cal State, Long Beach, into the classrooms for additional support during the reading period. The program also solicited the support of any parent with a teaching background. The success of the magnet can be measured by noting the results of the recently published California Assessment Program scores. At the third-grade level, the reading and language scores improved more than 40 points, and the math scores almost 60 points.