Concerns over proposed Jefferson High takeover
Re “A green light for Green Dot,” editorial, Aug. 17
As a retired teacher, I have mixed feelings on the Green Dot charter school proposed takeover of troubled Jefferson High. If the public schools could mandate parental involvement as charters can, we would experience remarkable academic growth in all our schools.
Mandatory involvement is the primary reason many charters succeed. However, only those parents who will participate will enroll in such a school. The charter will leave out all other students, and soon the public schools will teach only the neglected and disadvantaged, and test scores will drop further.
That the L.A. Times editorial suggests that Jefferson (or any) teachers trade contract provisions to be treated as creative, competent professionals is unconscionable.
Any qualified teacher should be treated as a professional. It is this very attitude toward teaching as a profession that has driven many teachers out, made recruiting new teachers difficult and fostered the lack of respect many students have for teachers. Students only emulate the values and attitudes of society as a whole.
Green Dot founder Steve Barr has not been on the Jefferson High School campus, so he has not seen our eight new small learning communities working. We just got started! Why not give them a chance to succeed or fail on their own merits before you decide you can do it better? Besides, the $10,000 pay increase he is offering won’t cover the lost health and retirement benefits to teachers that would occur if Green Dot took over Jefferson High School. Why not check out the new high school at the Santee Dairy site and see if it needs more help than Jefferson. It’s brand new and probably needs more help.
ESTHER M. WALLING
Jefferson High School