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School schedule is no holiday

December 01, 2007

Re "Give me a break," Opinion, Nov. 25

The flaws of the L.A. Unified School District's year-round schools that Charles Fleming alludes to in praising the multitrack calendar perpetuate the difference between the educational haves and have-nots in our city.

He wouldn't be so pleased if his daughters were on B or C track, where they would have no access to enrichment programs or other services offered to college-bound students in the summer.

While Fleming has the luxury of choosing his daughters' calendar, poor families are locked into year-round schools because they live in communities where schools are chronically overcrowded. Their kids will end up going to school more than a full year less than kids in traditional schools over their public school years, yet we expect them to take the same standardized tests and complete the same graduation requirements.

The multitrack system is racism pure and simple; just ask any Marshall High B or C track student.

This tracking of students has nothing to do with vacations, which is why, under threat of legal action, the district has rushed to build so many new schools.

Steve Zimmer

Los Angeles

The writer is a teacher and counselor at Marshall High School.

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