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Who Would Run Relocated School?

February 18, 1990

I am writing in response to the referenced articles (Times, Dec. 18, 1989, and Jan. 18, 1990) concerning the proposal to move UCLA's laboratory school to the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.

The Board of Education of the SMMUSD appears to be attracted to the proposal to affiliate UCLA's University Elementary School with SMMUSD because it will bring a prestigious university laboratory school into the Santa Monica district. They seem to ignore that virtually everyone who has had a role in making UES a prestigious school opposes the affiliation with the district. The teaching staff who develop the curriculum and the educational program have threatened to resign if the move takes place. The faculty of the Graduate School of Education, who establish the research agenda for the laboratory school and thus give it legitimacy in the university community, oppose the move and threaten to cancel research programs at the school if the move takes place. Educators nationally raise questions about the wisdom of risking the loss of a historically successful school by affiliating with a public school district.

Who does this leave supporting the move? It leaves the UCLA administrators who covet the UES site for new, more profitable uses. And it leaves the dean of the Graduate School of Education whose most persuasive arguments in favor of moving UES have to do with finding other public sources to pay for its programs.

I hope the SMMUSD Board of Education, and the constituents who elect them, question the motives of those at UCLA who support the proposal, and wonder about just who will be running this "prestigious" school once it has been dumped in their laps.

DAVID ALPAUGH

Los Angeles

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