Re “Next leader of L.A. schools vows to remove ‘bad teachers,’ ” Oct. 27
Incoming Los Angeles schools chief David L. Brewer vows to fire “bad teachers” to improve schools. But education is a two-way street. How about “bad students”? You cannot force-feed education to students who don’t want to learn, nor get uncaring parents to suddenly care. And I have always said: “It is the teacher’s responsibility to teach, but it is the student’s responsibility to learn.”
I have two questions for Brewer about his plan to revitalize the L.A. schools. First, if “bad teachers” are fired, who will replace them? If even 100 teachers were fired, at least 2,000 children would not have a teacher. Would they go to already overcrowded classes?
Brewer said, “There are two kinds of birds: chickens and eagles. If you throw an eagle up, eventually it’s going to fly. If you throw a chicken up in the air, all it’s going to do is poop on you. Eventually, you got to understand it’s a chicken and leave ‘em in the yard.” Does this apply to students also? If so, what will he do with the chickens?
Brewer is the second person in a row to come to the superintendent job with no real background in education. He immediately announces his intention to get rid of “bad teachers” with no indication of how that classification might be defined, or what, if anything, he has done to date to determine the number of such teachers presently employed by the district. His chicken-and-eagle fable, while folksy, is hardly enlightening. He would have more credibility if he would spend some time getting to know the district before making blanket pronouncements regarding present problems and their solutions.
JOHN S. NELSON