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Crowded Classrooms Hamper Learning

November 16, 2002

Re "High School Curriculum Should Be More Relevant," Voices, Nov. 9: LAUSD Board President Caprice Young sounded off on the need to expand school-to-career programs that will excite students about academics and decrease the dropout rate. Specifically, she cites the multimedia programs that have sprung up on some campuses. Ironically, her remarks appeared on the same day that The Times gave voice to numerous parents and teachers who are appalled at the burgeoning class-size problem in our schools, a problem that has its roots in the school board's twisted priorities.

Our district added an average of two students into every room this fall. Young needs to learn to put two and two together. When the school board determined this year that yet more kids must be crammed into each classroom, innovative programs such as those she claims to support were hit like any other. As one of the teachers embracing the "entrepreneurial movement for change" she lauds, I have brought over $80,000 worth of computers, video equipment and graphic arts software into my Reseda High classroom at virtually no cost to the district. However, this semester the 23 freshman students entering our New Media Academy can only look longingly at a wasted investment. The 10 additional students stuffed into the computer lab make it impossible to teach our introductory digital arts course. Two dozen computers, 34 students. Do the math.

Stephen London

Coordinator

Digital Arts/New Media

Academy, Reseda High School

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