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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: A low-rated plan to rate Los Angeles’ public schools

LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner
L.A. Unified School District Supt. Austin Beutner visits with Julia Melero, 17, at Van Nuys High in Los Angeles in May 2018.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: If this school rating plan goes forward, then the next logical step would be to rate members of the school board and top administrators who think it’s a good idea. The purpose would be to enhance accountability and “allow all educators to be compared side by side with consistent data.”

Approximately 20% of the rating would be based on IQ. Another 15% would reflect height, adjusted of course for gender. Then add in 30% for the size of each individual’s knowledge database compared to five years ago and 15% for the average cost of a single-family home in the ZIP Code of residence. Finally, 10% of the rating would reflect personality and general affability, and another 10% the degree to which each individual believes that complex phenomena can be reduced to a simple one-through-five numerical scale.

Round the resulting calculations off to the nearest whole number and have the single digits tattooed on everyone’s forehead. Then send them out into the world with the objective of making new friends and applying for good jobs.

Ronald Wolff, Claremont

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To the editor: After having a couple of kids, I became a teacher and learned about schools from the inside out.

Many of the teachers in my school were incompetent, indifferent and lazy. Of course, there were a few, maybe five, who did a super job of teaching. While I was there, there were teachers drunk in the classroom, on drugs, and involved in inappropriate sexual activities with the students. But the school earned the California Distinguished School award and the Blue Ribbon award as well.

So, who is going to rate this school? Who is going to take the time to investigate what really goes on behind those gates?

If the rating comes from school testing, that already puts many schools in a bad light due to language issues. Also, the tests are not really administered all that legally or fairly. Teachers do help the kids do better on their tests. Truly, there is no thorough and honest way to rate a school. I tell all of my friends who worry about their children’s education that any school is only as good as the teacher in your kid’s classroom.

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Phyllis Molloff, Fallbrook

To the editor: Union leader Juan Flecha thinks rating our schools would be “demoralizing” and “a slap to all the dedicated employees.” I can see that, but somehow I think the needs of parents — and taxpayers funding our schools — are more important than the feelings of the employees, particularly those in underperforming schools.

Is it not a slap to all the dedicated parents out there paying taxes and trying to find the best school for their child to not be given that information? Seems like their needs might be a bit more important.

Perhaps if those employees are not happy with their school’s results, they should work to change it, instead of deciding how to hide the data from parents.

Todd Maddison, Oceanside


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