Re "Critics decry shorter year for LAUSD," June 13
I've been reading The Times for 50 years, and headlines about a crisis in education are too common. Public education has been wracked for decades by unending financial crises, student dropout crises, tenure-for-incompetent-teachers crises and more, and with no end in sight. If any private corporation had such a pathetic record, it'd go bankrupt in a couple of years.
It's time to finally stop futilely grasping for ways to rescue the public school system and turn American education over to the private sector, where the free marketplace will judge which schools deserve to live and which to die.
If the Los Angeles Unified School District got rid of useless mandatory annual testing demanded by politicians, it could find the extra days of instruction needed to replace these furlough days. Put the emphasis on student learning instead of politicians showing how tough they are on teachers.
Having taught in L.A. Unified for 13 years, I would suggest that no one worry about the five days and focus on the true school year being 180 days, minus pupil-free days, minus half-days, minus teacher-enrichment days and minus other out-of-class activities equaling less than 150 days for the student with perfect attendance.
Consider the benefit of 240 days of required instruction, with no excused time taken from students. Yes, teachers would have to be paid higher salaries.
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