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Schools need a reality check

September 02, 2007

Re "Brewer denounces 'low expectations,' " Aug. 25

Los Angeles schools Supt. David L. Brewer should have learned from his naval experience that you don't put someone in front of a multimillion-dollar radar system without mastering certain knowledge, yet this is what the Los Angeles Unified School District routinely does. Placing children in learning situations without their mastering essential skills dooms them to frustration and failure. Blaming administrators or teachers for improper placement of children has been happening for years, and this is why the educational system experiences so many crashes. Brewer should fix the system that allows grade inflation and social promotion of countless children who learn they can get by without mastering certain skills and knowledge.

Jeff Goldberg

Inglewood

The writer teaches at Crenshaw High School.

In the article in which Brewer held school administrators accountable for Latino and black student achievement, we in the classroom are reminded of the many politicians who spout rhetoric without practical experience. I challenge Brewer to teach in any middle or high school as an anonymous substitute teacher and see what we deal with. The disruption and the defiance of students make the classroom anything but a fertile learning environment. No wonder Brewer avoided the facts. It's more politically correct to hold administrators accountable rather than the students and their parents, who don't seem to value education. How many times have I wished there was a camera in the classroom to capture the melee. Wouldn't that settle the debate of who's actually accountable for the failures of our students?

Bruno Marcotulli

Santa Monica

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