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Letters: Teaching is all about hard work

September 20, 2013

Re "LAUSD's priority problem," Column, Sept. 18

Thanks to Steve Lopez for his column. Education officials need to get back to the basics.

As a former teacher, I'm convinced that teaching would be so much easier if the ivory tower bureaucrats would quit coming up with new teaching "breakthroughs" every few years. Well-paid education officials evidently need to justify their jobs, so they keep pushing their theories on teaching into the classroom.

Each new educational fad requires tremendous effort from the classroom teacher, often with few positive results in student learning. Sometimes, the new fads end up giving us negative results.

Solution: How about requiring those officials to do regular service in the classroom — say, two weeks of substitute teaching every year? They would have some practical experience with the real challenges faced by teachers and students, which could translate into better education policy.

There is no magic trick. Teaching is hard work, and it comes down to good teaching, good training and adequate resources.

Marinka Horack

Huntington Beach

Re "No way to run a school board," Editorial, Sept. 17

If the Los Angeles Unified School District's new board cannot figure out its role for policy development instead of micromanaging administration, then the salient words of Mark Twain may still ring true: "In the first place God made idiots. That was for practice; then he made school boards."

Tom Kaminski



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