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There Are No Winners in This School Lottery

February 02, 2003

Re "Santa Ana Ends Lineup for Spots in Basics Schools," Jan. 20:

Once again a judicial body in effect has said, "It's unfair to reward those who are willing to take responsibility and initiative to get something they want. The only way to get something is for it to be given to you, and that only by luck of the draw." When this is the law of the land, how do we teach young people the value of work? Of setting goals and priorities?

Does this mean that team sports should select players not on the basis of tryouts but on a lottery system? Orchestras? Choirs? Colleges, universities and all other institutions of higher learning?

Does this mean that all jobs should be filled on a lottery system? That buying homes and cars should be on a lottery system?

As I understand it, parents whose determination and tenacity got their children into fundamental schools also had to sign a contract that committed them to fulfilling certain responsibilities to their children, and to the school. One of the values of the "camping" system was that parents demonstrated their desire, determination and ability to live up to the terms of that contract.

It's easy to sign a pledge on a piece of paper. It's much harder to do what you promise.

How much will those parents value and honor this commitment when their child's admission is handed to them on a piece of paper?

Catherine C. Cate

Santa Ana

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