MAILBAG

Technical classes pave way for future

As a teacher at a public middle school in the Glendale Unified School District, I’ve seen first-hand the devastating consequences of our state’s failure to provide access to career technical education to all students — leaving many students unprepared for the workforce and frustrated with the lack of relevance in their other classes.

The governor’s proposal to allow school districts to further reduce funding for career technical education by transferring these categorical funds to cover other school programs or expenses is the worst possible idea (“Districts try to protect categorical classes,” Jan. 10). At a time when dropout rates are so high and the workforce so competitive, we cannot afford to reduce classes that actually engage students and get them excited about school and career.

Career technical courses are among the few that incorporate hands-on learning and provide real-world skills that translate directly into the workforce, or better prepare students for college.

I encourage all students, parents, teachers and employers to let the governor know they oppose his plan to allow districts to redirect their valuable, and already scarce, career technical education funds.

MARK SANDERL

La Crescenta

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sanderl is a computer teacher at Rosemont Middle School.

Crossing education begins at home

Regarding “Girl struck in crosswalk by school,” Jan. 13:

I think that we, as parents, have done students a great disservice in allowing them to believe that they have no responsibility for their own safety. I hear many parents talking about how terrible the drivers are around the schools, but I have heard very little directed right at students’ responsibility in this problem. If we believe them capable of taking in all the academic concepts that they must learn in a year at school, then it is time for us to believe that they are capable of protecting their lives as well.

Here is the bottom line: auto vs. pedestrian, pedestrian loses. The driver may absolutely be in the wrong — pedestrian loses. The driver may have been careless — pedestrian loses. The driver may have been speeding — pedestrian loses. The driver may have been talking on a cell phone — pedestrian loses. The driver may have his/her license taken away — pedestrian loses.

Crosswalks have no magical power; the lines on the road do not stop a car moving at even 25 mph if the driver doesn’t see the pedestrian. Crossing the road where there is no crosswalk gives even less protection.

We have trained our children well. When they were little, we grabbed their hands, thinking that had magical power, and pulled them across the street to get them to their elementary school even when there was no crosswalk. We have encouraged them to walk against a signal that says “don’t walk.” Somehow, the extra steps it might have taken to walk to a crosswalk, look for traffic and wait for a crossing guard or a signal to change didn’t seem worth it at the time, and now we must bear the burden of our choices.

Here are some things pedestrians can do to help prevent a tragedy: Pay attention to the traffic lights; not run into a crosswalk because they want to beat the red light; make eye contact with a driver; know that they have been seen; not cross between cars, since it is very hard to see pedestrians coming out from there; not forget where they are when talking on their phones or listening to their iPods.

The streets are not an extension of the campus, and students shouldn’t assume the right of way. They are all bright, capable and mortal students. They need to understand that adults can’t always fix everything by themselves.

Their lives depend on their ability to make wise choices about their safety, on the streets and in all other areas of life. We adults need their help.

PAT CHAMBERS

La Crescenta

A modest proposal for Glendale roads

Regarding “Najarian introduces traffic plan,” Wednesday:

Why not remove all stop signs and signal lights in the city? I noticed the other day, when a signal was out completely at an intersection, that drivers were very cautious.

The city can save money by not having to manage signal timing or paying for electricity of the lights. So we get an extra money-saving incentive. This would force drivers to be cautious when going through intersections.

I see so many people run red lights here and hit other cars whose driver thought it was safe to travel through a green. I don’t trust green lights in this city anymore; I know others don’t trust the lights either.

So what’s the point if the lights are generally ignored? Why not try something different?

We Glendalians already are famous for the public smoking ban and a public park fully enclosed by private land. Let us be even more creative.

BRANDON LEE

Glendale

Tickets could put city in the black

Regarding the City Council considering cuts (“City looks to cut costs,” Monday), look to our city streets. Catch and fine the speeding drivers, the drivers running red lights, double parking on city streets and talking on hand-held cell phones. A lot of revenue is being missed. I see these infractions every day.

BETTY A. ROHR

Glendale


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