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Notes on school reform

June 05, 2007

Re "Next step for schools," editorial, June 3

Education is about instilling a love of learning and helping children learn to learn, to become critical and creative thinkers. The Los Angeles Unified School District's reforms don't do this. What the children are learning is how to take multiple-choice tests, how to decode but not analyze and how to comply rather than think independently. True reform starts with respect for students and teachers, with the belief that children come to school with an immense amount of knowledge and different learning styles. Expecting all children to be on the same page at the same time is an unrealistic goal that kills the joy of teaching and learning.

CLEA MARKMAN

Venice

*

The Times urges L.A. Unified to give principals more authority to fire ineffective teachers. Yet you neglect to mention any methods to fire ineffective principals. In my 40 years as a teacher in L.A. Unified, I have seen both ineffective teachers and ineffective principals. A poor teacher can hurt 20 to 200 students in a year, whereas a poor principal can have a toxic effect on an entire school.

CAROL PERRY

Redondo Beach

*

I find your editorial almost complete. What I find missing is the role parents must take, besides complaining. They need to ensure that their children are studying and finishing homework; many parents don't know how far behind their child is until it is too late. A stronger student discipline program is hollow without a parent's attention at home.

DEAN BLAU

Van Nuys

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