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Public Is Uneducated About Schools

April 04, 1993

While it was refreshing to read in your recent education poll ("63% Urge Wiser--Not More--School Spending," March 26) that most (people) rate public schools as doing at least an adequate job, it was disheartening to also learn that most believe that simple belt-tightening will cure our schools' ills.

What does this majority think the schools have been doing since the passage of Proposition 13?

Perhaps the greatest challenge facing schools is not educating children, but educating the public. Many believe that simply because they attended public schools (often years ago), that they are somehow experts on the subject.

The best example of this I can give is a recent conversation I had with what I would call an intelligent person. As a first-year teacher, I was explaining that I've witnessed some wonderful things in our schools, but if our state is serious about education, we need to drastically reduce class size.

This was met with a curt, "That's (ridiculous). If we had Catholic discipline, we could stick 50 kids in a classroom!" Our conversation quickly ended. I mean, how do you change that kind of thinking?

DANIEL D. OTTER

Corona

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