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Time of Reckoning for the LAUSD

January 16, 2002

Re "Shake-Ups Launched at 4 Schools," Jan. 11: As a 40-year English teacher with the LAUSD, I have to agree with [union representative] Sharon Noland of Sun Valley when she says, "I've done nothing wrong." When I retire, I will have noted only two things that improved my workplace: the reduced class size in ninth- and 11th-grade English classes and the introduction of the photocopy machine.

There are a lot of good teachers in badly performing schools who would shine more brightly if they were provided with the class size and teaching conditions that allowed them to do their jobs. Until education officials stop "starting afresh" and do something right to improve those conditions, no progress will be made among our schools.

Milton Goldman

Santa Monica

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I was dismayed to read about the status of some of the worst schools in L.A. Unified. As a graduate of Sun Valley Junior High in 1969, it really hurts to read about the deplorable state of the school.

It doesn't have to be this way. I can quickly think of an extensive number of friends and family members who graduated from Sun Valley who eventually went on to attain bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from universities like Stanford, USC and the UC system, myself included.

We are physicians, general managers and vice presidents of large international companies, professional scientists, movie makers and social workers. We all came from relatively modest homes and families in the Sun Valley area. There is no acceptable reason why the next generation of graduates, and the ones after that, should not be able to attain similar success rates in their scholastic opportunities. I urge the LAUSD and the community not to let the school sink any deeper into despair.

All of the students deserve a decent opportunity to achieve: We were afforded that in the 1960s; it is the least we can do for the students of the 2000s.

Edward Saade

Poway

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