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Lesson of Jefferson High: Students need good teachers, small classes

Lesson of Jefferson High: Students need good teachers, small classes
A superior court judge has ordered the state to intervene at Jefferson High School on behalf of students who've been denied their constitutional right to an education during the first portion of the school year. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The scheduling problems at Jefferson High School require state intervention. It isn't surprising that bureaucratic decisions, inadequate funding, overcrowding, emphasis on testing over content and other factors contribute to poor school performance. Yet the focus for blame is usually on the teachers. ("Judge orders state to fix Jefferson High scheduling issues," Oct. 8)

The warehousing of students at Jefferson is a good example of the overall lack of comprehensive understanding of what it takes for students to receive a good education. For instance, an iPad in every student's hand will never trump a teacher with small, manageable classes and some creative freedom.

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Marty Wilson, Whittier

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To the editor: What am I missing here? The mess at Jefferson High was caused by the failed rollout of the Los Angeles Unified School District's new computer system, which is still causing problems today.

Wasn't Supt. John Deasy responsible for anything? No; he joins the lawsuit over the situation at Jefferson High.

Where does the buck stop?

Marc Pollard, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Some readers will be shocked by the report that students have been waiting weeks for class assignments and instruction at Jefferson High due to the bureaucratic bungling of the new system implemented by LAUSD hierarchy.

I am not. As a retired 23-year veteran LAUSD high school teacher, I am relieved to see it noticed by the state and reported in The Times. Students are routinely ignored and inconvenienced by mandated district policies while upper administrators schedule adorable photo ops, invent complicated new acronyms and purchase expensive new equipment and programs.

We need honest and competent leadership to improve and preserve our city's public education system and stop taxpayers' money from being wasted on diploma mills and payouts for failed superintendents.

Teresa Nield, West Hills

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