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'Making Better Teachers'

March 27, 1988

I found Roark's articles on teachers to be disturbing. My major frustration is the very negative way in which she portrayed today's teachers. An elementary teacher told me that one of her students did a current event on one of the articles and her conclusion was " . . . That teachers are stupider than they used to be." I am sure this is the impression that these articles left on the majority of the people who read them.

The reality is every teacher is a graduate of our college and university system. The majority of teachers have many years of successful teaching experience and, all things considered, are doing an amazing job. Studies show the stress levels of classroom teachers is second only to air traffic controllers.

To be a teacher you must have five years of university work with a degree and a California teaching credential. The L.A. Unified School District will then pay you a whole $23,000 a year before taxes and deductions. Teachers are then guaranteed three months of unemployment every summer.

Most of Roark's research was done by talking to college education professors who are far removed from the reality of teaching in the public schools today. She should have spent more time talking with the people she was writing about, the classroom teachers.

WAYNE JOHNSON

President

United Teachers Los Angeles

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