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Charter vs. non-charter school

June 18, 2007

Re "Struggling charters face uncertain future," Opinion, June 12

While Los Angeles school board members are trying to decide what to do about the Pacifica Community Charter School, we can all hope that they will take a serious look at who should be designing the curriculum for children ages 6 to 13. Common sense says, "Not the 6- to 13-year-olds."

A quick look at the story in the same edition about the three high school seniors who have each been awarded a Gates Millennium Scholarship, which covers up to 10 years of university education, might give parents pause. These three outstanding students are all products of Paramount High School -- a public, non-charter school.

JOAN EWING

Whittier

Re "Vote on closing Pacoima charter is delayed," June 13

The school board's decision to postpone a vote on the fate of Pacoima's Discovery Preparatory Charter School is disappointing. The Los Angeles Unified School District is fixated on scores from one standardized test and ignores extremely successful student scores on the SAT, ACT and the California High School Exit Examination, on which Discovery students exceed the performance levels of those at neighboring schools. More than 90% of Discovery's graduating seniors will go this fall to either a four- or two-year college. Clearly, Discovery is doing something right.

As a former state legislator who voted for the current law regarding testing, the LAUSD is failing to understand the law's intent, which was not meant to be the sole gauge of student accomplishment. The LAUSD needs to consider the breadth of student achievement rather than just using a single standardized measure.

RICHARD ALARCON

Los Angeles City Council

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