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Schools Story Had Disturbing Effect

March 13, 1988

I feel I represent many active parents of children in California public schools when I say I was greatly disturbed after reading the article printed in the Westside section on March 3 concerning the public survey given about California public schools.

The most damaging effect of the article was having it read by parents who are undecided as to whether they should investigate their neighborhood schools. Many parents of L.A. public schools try hard to make the schools the best possible place for our children. Many parent groups of the schools have raised large sums of money which enable the students to have enrichment programs. We have all worked hard to build the reputations of the many fine public schools in L.A.

Thus, the article further states that the telephone survey (conducted by the L.A. County Office of Education) shows that California school performance "slumped" in 1987. This is very one-sided. Also, the article states that respondents who had the largest decline in confidence in local schools were 65 years and over. Obviously, this age group is not active in public schools due to the fact they do not have school-age children. The article further stated that most people received their information about public schools from the television!

Therefore, the media (both TV and the newspaper) possess a strong power in determining whether people are opposed or in favor of public schools. More positive exposure must be given to the many wonderful California public schools. I am thankful that, according to the article, there are not enough funds for a 1988 survey!

BARBARA A. JAFFE

Los Angeles

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