Ann Romney on the campaign trail last month. (M. Spencer Green / Associated…)
Calling all moms
Re "Romney is facing larger problem with female voters," April 13
We need to get real about Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen's comment that Ann Romney "never worked a day in her life."
Rosen wasn't saying anything derogatory about stay-at-home moms; she was speaking the truth that Ann Romney has never had to worry about paying the bills, putting food on the table, buying clothes and the cost and quality of her kids' day care.
Mitt and Ann Romney are in the lucky percentage of Americans who don't know how hard many in the working class have it. They are clueless as to how financially-strapped families are dealing with today's crisis.
Re "Worst candidate?," Opinion, April 12
Doyle McManus writes about Mitt Romney's need for Rick Santorum's endorsement: "Romney needs Santorum at the moment much more than Santorum needs Romney."
The reverse is true. To beat President Obama, Romney needs to distance himself from the extreme elements of Santorum's social agenda, particularly those that appeal to a very small group and appall everyone else, including Santorum's attacks
on abortion rights and
Obama's edge among women voters, which helped push him over the top in 2008 and promises to do so again in November, is largely a reaction to views heralded by Santorum that contraception turns sex into "simply pleasure" (the horror!) and that doctors who perform abortions should be criminally charged.
Not only does Romney not need this baggage, but if he wants to win, he needs to forcefully disavow it.
Community college woes
Re "A failure to educate," Opinion, April 11
Mark Schneider and Lu Michelle Yin unfairly blame low graduation rates at community colleges on the quality of teaching.
Community colleges are required to accept students regardless of readiness for college-level work.
The problem is with the quality of K-12 education, exacerbated by the anti-tax policies promoted by organizations such as the American Enterprise
Institute, where Schneider is a visiting scholar.
I graduated from a community college, then completed my engineering degree at a university. I found that the quality of teaching at the community college was just as good as at the university.
If we continue starving public education of adequate funding with anti-tax policies, we will continue to suffer low graduation rates at community colleges.
Schneider and Lin examine community colleges from afar without a thorough understanding of the system.
First, community colleges were established as open-access institutions. Regardless of academic preparation or academic goals, all students are welcome.
California community colleges receiving the lowest per-student funding in the country, we are the most efficient higher education organization. We instruct 2.6 million students, nearly 25% of the nation's community college students.
Third, we are regulated by the largest school board in the world: the California Legislature. There are directives that hinder local control and our ability to be responsive to our communities.
Finally, we have been forced to help balance the state budget by raising student fees and cutting classes. This is counterintuitive to our current economic situation.
We need advocacy, not uninformed criticism.
Erlinda J. Martinez
The writer is president of Santa Ana College.
Schneider and Lin provide a helpful reminder that the true purpose of higher education is to rush students through the college system so they can get degrees, secure high-paying jobs, strengthen the economy and, most important, avoid an "investment loss" for taxpayers. These students don't have to actually learn anything along the way.
College is not like a business. True learning is not quantifiable in dollars and cents.
The purpose of a community college is to allow inexpensive access for all young adults to a high-quality learning environment. Some students will stick with it; others will choose other paths.
But our investment in them with our tax dollars has nothing to do with satisfying the bottom line.
Re "Coliseum had scant controls over spending," April 13
Once again, it takes The Times to expose more L.A. Memorial Coliseum Commission rottenness to the sunlight.
I find it very disingenuous for Commission President David Israel and Supervisor Don Knabe, a commission member, to throw the blame back on City Controller Wendy Greuel for not conducting an audit earlier. It is the responsibility of the commissioners themselves to request an audit.
I would suggest that yes, there is indeed lots of blame to go around, but not in the way Israel and Knabe suggest.
That all this went on under their supervision suggests that an audit should include an investigation of the commissioners themselves.
San Simeon, Calif.
Re "Missteps on child welfare," April 9