Ball fields don’t need netting
I don’t think that the schools will need protective netting around
the baseball fields. There is a very small chance that a ball could
hit a person. Also, the price is way too high. $700,000 is far too
much money to be used on something we don’t need. It would be much
wiser to use the money for new books and other much needed classroom
Schools should use resources they have
The letter from Leslie Strunk (“Foreign language should count,”
Mailbag July 23) had a phrase that struck me: “Cookie-cutter
educations,” which tends to describe what we are trying to foist upon
our kids, trying to cram a lifetime of lessons into four mere years
of high school, as I complained in my own letter (“Foreign language a
skill for life,” Mailbag, July 23).
It does beg another question about all these school requirements:
Why does every high school student have to study science and math as
if they were all going to march off to be computer geeks or nuclear
scientists? Why does every student have to have four years of English
as if they would all troop off to write the next great American
novel? Why not allow students to substitute marching band, theater or
dance for their physical education requirement? These latter are as
physically demanding as any generic gym class will be.
All these measures would free up much more time to take the
practical arts courses everybody says the kids need, and they surely
do. The schools, as with individuals, will never have enough money to
do all the things they want to do. Meantime, they need to get more
creative and flexible on using the resources they do have.
Foreign language should count as arts
I am strongly in favor of the proposal to allow college prep
students to substitute two years of a foreign language for the
practical arts requirement. Neither a fine arts credit nor a
practical arts credit is required for admission to the UC or Cal
State schools. Nor is either even a state mandated requirement for
high school graduation.
Forcing our college prep students to substitute a class such as
cooking or keyboarding for another elective that will allow them to
be more competitive for college admissions is, in effect,
handicapping them in their efforts to excel. Instead of putting
obstacles in the path of our academically high-achieving students, I
feel we should be doing all we can to support and encourage them in
their applications to our nation’s top universities.
These students already must take four additional courses
(including two foreign language credits) above the high school
requirements just to meet the minimum UC requirements for freshman
admissions (and an additional three credits are recommended in math,
science, and a foreign language). I urge Burbank schools to strive
for a higher level of excellence by recognizing and supporting the
efforts of our college prep students as they compete for slots in the
country’s top universities.