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Republicans' plan to fix healthcare; problems at Jordan High School; Patt Morrison's interview with UC President Mark Yudof

January 20, 2011

Restoring civility — Healthcare politics

Re "GOP returns ready to duel with Obama," Jan. 1

So the Republicans' healthcare alternative is "built on a longtime conservative belief that reduced regulation is the best path to controlling costs." My goodness, haven't Republicans learned anything from the nightmare created by all their deregulation?

And look at the Republican-controlled Congress' prescription drug debacle, which turned out to be manna from heaven for huge drug corporations that has cost our country hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars.

If you believe the Republican healthcare plan is good for this country, I have a bridge I think you may like to buy in New York.

Ron Hardcastle

Los Angeles

I am very tired and frustrated with two issues mentioned in this article. First is the term "healthcare" reform. We have excellent healthcare in this country. What we do not have is good insurance. The debate should be about health insurance and why it should even exist.

Second, the article mentions the Republican plan to dismantle the reform program in progress and start working on one of their own — a plan, by their own admission, that would take a long time to design and implement. Wouldn't it be better to let the current program help those it can and build something better to replace it?

No; the Republicans, like Nero, would rather let Rome burn while they fiddle.

Philip Raycraft

Los Angeles

Every time I hear about Republicans putting forth their own healthcare bill, I have to laugh.

For six of the eight years of George W. Bush's presidency, they controlled both the White House and the House. What did they do to reform our healthcare system during that time? That's right: nothing.

This speaks more clearly to Republicans' true level of commitment to healthcare reform than all their posturing and strident misinformation.

Flann Maguire


Seriously? After what we just went through in Tucson?

The Times printed a front-page headline above the fold that invokes guns against the president. What is the matter with you? Please, get it together.

Carolyn Manetti


Answers for Jordan High

Re "Rescuing Jordan High," Editorial, Jan. 14

Is it really the teachers' fault again? They were blamed when Locke High School was given to Green Dot, and last year Fremont High School was reconstituted for the same reason Jordan is now being given away. Teachers "did little to improve the situation on their own."

This game of blaming teachers and giving away the school has become tiresome, and is one L.A. Unified wouldn't dare play in more affluent parts of town. There needs to be responsibility instead of pointing fingers at teachers.

L.A. Unified has to truly collaborate with teachers and parents and give schools like Jordan the support they need. After enduring mediocre administration that drove teachers away for many years, to give Jordan to charter companies or the mayor is not a positive solution. Reliable research does not predict success for the students.

Mat Taylor

San Pedro

The writer is South Area Chair for United Teachers Los Angeles.

Change the curriculum at Jordan High. Give the students fashion design, computer-aided drafting, office business skills, radio and TV classes, screenwriting, homemaking, health industry classes and so on. Throw in a dose of general science, basic math and English grammar, and Jordan's students would actually learn something over four years.

Instead, the parents and students have been brainwashed into believing that algebra, physics and Shakespeare are the only road to success by way of college.

Bored students sit in college-prep classes and learn nothing. Jordan High needs a makeover, but it's not the teachers or administrators; it's the curriculum.

Bob Munson

Newbury Park

Re "Keeping a civil tongue," Opinion, Jan. 15

Hostility has been exhibited in political statements ever since the founding of our nation. But as Tim Rutten points out, the vituperation has been exacerbated by the ease of communication made possible by the Internet, cellphones and television.

Inadvertent comments become featured articles for a public hungry for any statements that might support their position, no matter how extreme.

There never has been a truer need for thinking and hesitating before speaking or writing.

The level of controversy has not been raised, only the access for all to hear and comment, adding fuel to an already flammable mixture.

Nelson Marans

Silver Spring, Md.

Good teachers know that the language used in their classrooms is essential to effective communication. If a few students begin to talk to others using suggestive and violent words, the entire atmosphere quickly goes toxic.

Leaders, like teachers and politicians, need to draw the line early. They need to make it clear that such language will not be tolerated and will be met with appropriate corrective measures.

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