Re "Reimagine LAUSD," editorial, Feb. 11
I appreciate The Times taking a fresh look at the issues with the Los Angeles Unified School District. I'd like to comment about your observation that there may be situations in which a charter school would "encourage" its low-achieving students to leave. It's important that the charter schools not measure student achievement exclusively in terms of success on a college track. They also need to implement a curriculum and high standards suitable for students who wish to pursue trade school after high school.
We must prepare our students with a safe learning environment and the appropriate education to succeed, whether it be in colleges and universities or the trades.
The Times is advocating the wholesale abandonment of the LAUSD's secondary schools to the charter movement. If this is not tantamount to a radical dismissal of the foundations of democracy, of equality and access to a free, high-quality education for all, I don't know what is.
As stated in the editorial as a minor caveat, public schools must accept everyone, while charter schools do not. If this is all we debated, it is obvious that once I have chosen and restricted my elite, highly engaged population, I have chosen my success. Need we mention that charter schools have inconsistent results; that each is a mystery unto itself, with no transparency as to its operations, standards or focus; that each is subject to the whim of whomever controls it for that moment; that its staffing is exploited, and that any student may be ejected for any reason it sees fit?
Just try to find any objective information on charter schools, especially in The Times. What concern does it have for the future of democracy or equality? We need to collectively work to improve our public schools for everyone's benefit.
The shots heard 'round the world
Re "Clemens, former trainer face tough crowd on Hill," Feb. 14
Can someone explain why our congressional leaders have called an investigation into steroid use in professional athletics when we're waging an asinine war, unemployment is on the rise, families are losing their homes, our healthcare system is a shambles, our borders are not secure and our nation's educational system and infrastructure are falling apart? Maybe if Americans cared more about their country than their favorite team, Capitol Hill would have no choice but to deal with real problems.
Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) is leading a congressional kerfuffle about lies and liars in the game of baseball. Either Roger Clemens or his ex-trainer is lying before Congress. Sure, lying about drug use is a terrible thing, but why is Congress spending so much time investigating baseball drug liars while failing to hold the Bush administration accountable for the lies that have trapped us in Iraq's tar pit of debt, death and disgrace? Its lies before Congress are far more grave, harming a generation of Americans.