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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL

December 6, 1998

Re "Manzanita School Committee Forms to Consider Student Uniforms," Dec. 1. As a parent it is my responsibility to make sure that my kids behave and, yes, even dress appropriately for different occasions, including school. The schools keep overstepping their boundaries into parental areas. How about sticking to reading, writing and arithmetic? PAMELA ZIRALDO, Newbury Park

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OPINION

February 16, 2012 |

When this year's presidential campaign began, Rick Santorum looked like a fringe candidate, consigned permanently to the outside edge of an overcrowded debate stage. But as earlier conservative front-runners sputtered, Santorum plugged away, sticking doggedly to his unfashionable message of uncompromising social conservatism. And then, suddenly, he got lucky. Republicans started believing the attack ads Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich rained on each other, and both men's popularity sank.

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL

March 22, 2000

Re "Debate on How to Teach Math Takes Cultural Turn," March 17: In my 28 years of teaching, I have never seen a student who cannot perform basic arithmetic operations without a calculator succeed in algebra. Unfortunately, LAUSD thinks otherwise and continues to force all students regardless of skill level to take algebra. If the new economy wants workers who have demonstrable skills in mathematics, then students and teachers must be willing to engage in intensive drill and practice in arithmetic beginning in kindergarten.

ENTERTAINMENT

September 14, 2007 |

TORONTO -- When Susan Sarandon first met with the filmmaker behind "Emotional Arithmetic," the film that closes the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday, the subject of the Hollywood blacklist naturally came up. "It was a connective something," said director Paolo Barzman.

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL

January 20, 2000

In your Jan. 9 editorial re a new school superintendent (whom I agree will be tough to find), you state that the LAUSD budgets $7 billion a year for an enrollment of 700,000 students. That comes to $10,000 per student a year. Do the arithmetic! This does not include the cost of the schools themselves. Why are we always told that the expenditure for each student in California is very low, between $5,000 and $6,000? Lots of money is being wasted somewhere. GENE BERGER Encino

NEWS

May 5, 1994

Regarding your article on Monrovia High School students staging a walkout to protest the dress code there (March 24): Finally high school is getting to important issues such as an appropriate dress code. No doubt the code will provide more help for the graduates to find jobs than will reading, writing and arithmetic. Or maybe we'll have the most properly dressed members of unemployment lines anywhere in the world. ROBERT WHITNEY Monterey Park

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL

January 9, 1997

Re "Formulas for Math Problems," Jan. 5: The ingredients of a successful program of math instruction are no mystery. Adherence to a few basic principles will go a long way toward producing the desired results. 1. Develop facility with numbers. Multiplication and division tables should be learned through drills until arithmetic manipulation becomes second nature. Calculators should not be allowed until this proficiency is achieved. 2. Do not allow making mathematics fun or easy to become a priority.

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL

January 27, 1991

Some very simple logic destroys the credibility of the article on the Life Chain demonstration published on Jan. 21. For example, it reports that "3,000 to 4,000 people gathered . . . forming a 5-mile zigzag . . . standing about six feet apart . . ." An exercise in third-grade arithmetic reveals that one or more of the following facts must have been true: 1. There were a lot more than 4,000 people involved and/or 2. They were standing more than six feet apart and/or 3. The chain was considerably less than five miles.

OPINION

April 13, 2003

Re "Teacher Layoffs Considered in L.A.," April 3: Being a student in the Los Angeles Unified School District, I cannot believe that the school board has proposed to cut the school budgets in the areas where money is needed the most. As it is, some of my classes have over 40 students. If teachers are laid off, the class sizes would be even larger. In particular, my school began to go on a year-round schedule three years ago. Since this change, the school's test scores have dropped each year.

BOOKS

December 12, 1999 |

A great and glorious thing it is To learn, for seven years or so, The Lord knows what of that and this, Ere reckoned fit to face the foe-- The flying bullet down the Pass, That whistles clear: "All flesh is grass." Three hundred pounds per annum spent On making brain and body meeter For all the murderous intent Comprised in "villanous saltpetre!" And after--ask the Yusufzaies What comes of all our 'ologies.

OPINION

September 4, 2004

In the article "Better Off Than 4 Years Ago? Nation Is Divided," Aug. 30, you present, without comment, a table titled "Economics of Election" comparing six measures of the economic record of each president since Eisenhower. The comparison is so striking that I think it deserves some analysis. For example, if you summarize the measures of each term for two-term Democratic and Republican administrations by combining the two Bush (father and son) terms, the two Nixon-Ford terms and the two Kennedy-Johnson terms, in addition to the two-term Reagan and Clinton administrations (excluding the Eisenhower administration, for which the data are incomplete)

NEWS

September 11, 2003 |

What not to say in front of your math teacher: "This is so stupid. Like I'm ever going to need fractions." Especially in front of a teacher with the power to drive a kid crazy by transforming even the most mundane activities -- choosing what shirt to wear, for instance -- into head-scratching problems in addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and percentages.

OPINION

April 13, 2003

Re "Teacher Layoffs Considered in L.A.," April 3: Being a student in the Los Angeles Unified School District, I cannot believe that the school board has proposed to cut the school budgets in the areas where money is needed the most. As it is, some of my classes have over 40 students. If teachers are laid off, the class sizes would be even larger. In particular, my school began to go on a year-round schedule three years ago. Since this change, the school's test scores have dropped each year.

NEWS

August 30, 2001 |

Many people equate "educational software" with "boring." But that's no longer true. Here are some back-to-school titles your kids will think are cool. Preschool and Kindergarten 'Dr. Seuss Preschool' Learning Co. $20 PC/Mac Preschoolers need a lot of practice with such early learning skills as identifying numbers and letters, counting, recognizing colors and shapes and using logic. Good early learning software should cover these skills in a fun, supportive environment. "Dr.

TRAVEL

June 10, 2001 |

You've probably heard how Mark Twain, revered writer and seasoned traveler, once classified falsehoods three ways: There are lies, damn lies and statistics, he wrote, citing former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli as his source. But in this age of free-flowing data and unfettered markets, statistics can be a fine friend to a traveler.

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL

March 22, 2000

Re "Debate on How to Teach Math Takes Cultural Turn," March 17: In my 28 years of teaching, I have never seen a student who cannot perform basic arithmetic operations without a calculator succeed in algebra. Unfortunately, LAUSD thinks otherwise and continues to force all students regardless of skill level to take algebra. If the new economy wants workers who have demonstrable skills in mathematics, then students and teachers must be willing to engage in intensive drill and practice in arithmetic beginning in kindergarten.

BUSINESS

July 26, 1987

The Times quotes an executive ("High-Tech Auto Gear Roars Into Fast Lane," June 28) saying that "16-year-olds spend $4,000 and up on car stereos alone." Are these the same teen-agers for whom taxpayers are being asked to fund free school health clinics? The same ones who need more money from the state for schools? The same teens who need more public money for "free" drug counseling? Many of us who have been working hard for many years would like to have $4,000 for a car, much less just for the car's stereo.

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL

September 11, 1988

This is to correct the calculations presented by Don Payne. Payne's calculations are correct only under the following terms of reference: the same number can be chosen more than once; the chosen six numbers must be in a particular order. The actual requirements (praise the lotto gods) are: a number can be chosen only once and the six numbers chosen can be in any order. Therefore, the number of ways (or combinations) in which 6 numbers could be drawn from 49 is: 494847464544 = 13,983,816 654321 Any chances of my paying off the mortgage on my house and taking my wife out to dinner are therefore, on any 1 ticket, about 1 in 14 million -- not the 14 billion Payne has proffered.

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL

January 20, 2000

In your Jan. 9 editorial re a new school superintendent (whom I agree will be tough to find), you state that the LAUSD budgets $7 billion a year for an enrollment of 700,000 students. That comes to $10,000 per student a year. Do the arithmetic! This does not include the cost of the schools themselves. Why are we always told that the expenditure for each student in California is very low, between $5,000 and $6,000? Lots of money is being wasted somewhere. GENE BERGER Encino

BOOKS

December 12, 1999 |

A great and glorious thing it is To learn, for seven years or so, The Lord knows what of that and this, Ere reckoned fit to face the foe-- The flying bullet down the Pass, That whistles clear: "All flesh is grass." Three hundred pounds per annum spent On making brain and body meeter For all the murderous intent Comprised in "villanous saltpetre!" And after--ask the Yusufzaies What comes of all our 'ologies.