What happened at the STEM Academy is a cautionary tale on many levels. Students need to know that there are no shortcuts to a meaningful education, no matter what happened in this case. L.A. Unified School District officials claim to want academic rigor in classrooms, but when a teacher delivers that rigor, he is subject to undeserved scrutiny and reprimands in the media by his administrator.
This incident should also be kept in mind when legislators consider changes to the way teachers are evaluated or disciplined. Teachers must be free to hold students to the highest educational standards, without wondering if it will trigger a negative evaluation or hurt their careers.
Any legislation that would inject politics into the system or open the door to undue outside influence will hurt the academic program in the long run.