Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:
According to the study described in your report "Student Goals, School Plans Mismatched, Study Finds" (April 18, 1990), "while two-thirds [of 8th graders] planned to finish college or attain higher degrees, only one-third planned to enroll in a college-preparatory program in high school."
The article goes on to suggest that educators are "wondering why such a disparity exists between 8th graders' goals and their actions."
I submit that no evidence of such a "disparity" has been presented.
As commentators as diverse as Albert Shanker, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Chester E. Finn Jr., professor of education and public policy at Vanderbilt University, have pointed out, anyone with a high-school diploma of any kind--and many without a diploma--can gain admission to a four-year college if he can pay the tuition.
Few of our colleges have high admission standards--and many have no admission standards.
Eighth graders know very well that following a "general" or other non-college-preparatory course may keep them from entering the few selective colleges but will be no barrier to admission at thousands of others, public and private.
The "disparity" is in the thinking of educators who are "wondering" about the 8th graders.
Paul Regnier Special Assistant Department of Communications Fairfax County Public Schools Fairfax, Va.
To the Editor:
The "uneasy alliance" marking the site-based decisionmaking scheme in the Los Angeles Unified School District ("Uneasy Alliance Marks Launch of L.A. Plan," April 11, 1990) comes as no surprise to the 8,000 nonunion teachers who are now having their paychecks docked to pay for being categorically shut out of the process.
It was the "agency shop" privilege, after all, that put the icing on this cake.
The one theme consistently running through this thorough article on the district's "power sharing" plan is that there is to be no sharing of any power that union officials want.
The School-Based Management Central Committee--controlled by union officials and their apologists--has become the new school board.
What did the elected school-board members expect when they agreed to turn the schools over to union officials?
More to the point, who is really to blame for conning parents and taxpayers into thinking this was about better education for children?
"Power sharing is about power," Wayne Johnson, president of United Teachers of Los Angeles, is quoted as saying.
And the $3 million to $4 million that will be seized every year by u.t.l.a. officials from the pockets of independent teachers who abhor their tactics is all he needs to keep it.
Jo Seker Director Concerned Educators Against Forced Unionism Springfield, Va.