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Skepticism on school plan

July 30, 2009

Re "New schools, new day," Opinion, July 27

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa writes in support of a proposal by LAUSD board member Yolie Flores Aguilar.

This is a proposal for uncontrolled experimentation with the children of the district. It ignores what we already know works in public schools but that requires more money. Instead of facing the real crisis in public education, Villaraigosa and Flores Aguilar want to institute a "marketplace" approach and encourage competition for a product -- the high school diploma.

However, what we know works is: smaller classes, up-to-date textbooks for all students, clean and modern classrooms, supportive parents, administrators who actually do their jobs and teachers who are among the best and brightest of our college graduates. That all means more spending, not less.

But the public has been sold a bill of goods, being told that teachers and their unions are not interested in kids and in innovation.

Bob Harris

Lancaster

::

Having the mayor jump back on the education stump is fine -- anything to pressure the LAUSD board into adopting this measure. And someone has to talk sense into United Teaches Los Angeles too; the union has lost its perspective on students. If Villaraigosa will help with this, fine.

With the LAUSD and UTLA bureaucracies invested in maintaining the status quo, all public school students here will suffer.

Definitely turn over new campuses to qualified applicants. But who will determine "qualified"? Will this turn into another LAUSD political maneuver, just like selectively granting charters?

Judith Bronowski

Pacific Palisades

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