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School Comparisons

August 11, 1994

* "Good Schools, Bargain Prices" (Aug. 2) once again misses the point and misleads taxpayers and employers. Historically, schools existing in areas with the most favorable demographics have less costly expenses and, predictably, better results.

Schools where parents insist that their children complete homework assignments and read required material will see higher grades. Schools where there are fewer non-English-speaking students and students with special needs will have fewer government mandates and more funds for each classroom. Schools that are in higher socioeconomic areas will have students whose grades and test scores reflect such environmental and parental advantages.

The Times would better serve its readers by comparing those school districts that share similar demographics and identifying those that are experiencing academic success. When closely examined, odds are that these districts will have parents not only demanding higher academic effort from their children, but also providing more than just "lip service" to their expectations.

RIC STEPHENSON

Mission Viejo

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