January 26, 2001

El Foro Publico -- The Public Forum

Better Schools Or Better Teachers?

This is a silly question if you believe that a better school automatically means that our children will study with a better teacher, or better yet a skilled one who consistently turns out successful students. If that were true, how is that the so-called better schools, like all Public schools, have a failure rate that would bankrupt most businesses?

The question really asks, "Should we think better schools, OR should we think better teachers, especially highly skilled ones?" Having our children study at a so-called better school is no guarantee that they will study with a superior teacher, or one that is under the supervision of a superior teacher?

The formal school system has been highly successful in leading us to believe that they DO what they DON'T do, i.e, teach! Isn't it time we put the focus on the teacher, that is, skilled teachers? How can the schools ever achieve the great success possible without doing what makes virtually all other callings successful-recognize, reward, and put into positions of leadership, superior people, that is superior teachers.

Is it any coincidence that the average period of employment for teachers is about five years? How many teachers will strive to do better when years on the job takes precedence over skilled teachers when it comes to climbing the income ladder. How many teachers will turn out their best in an environment where there is no competition, the lack of which would kill all sports? How many teachers can develop any enthusiasm for a calling where there are no incentives to do so? How many potentially skilled teachers would enter a calling where there is virtually no opportunity to achieve the goodies common in most other callings?

Is it just an oversight that skilled teaching is not recognized or rewarded-that which has the potential of making dramatic improvement in schooling?

Why isn't skilled teaching recognized? Are people in Administration, and the many hangers-on-politicians, the NEA, Boards of Education, et al-those OUTSIDE the classroom who never face the problems INSIDE the classroom, really going to make the slightest effort to see superior teachers get a share of the spotlight-to get a piece of the power? Will the system do anything to destroy the aura of "it's the schools that teach?" Certainly it must never imply that NOT all teachers are superior, even those in so-called better schools. Recognizing superior teachers might suggest that not all teachers are superior, that some may be average like most of us, and horrors!

Some might not even be able to teach as well as most politicians. Why should the system change? It's firmly in power-a cartel as one discerning person labeled it-and politicians, governors, even Presidents, all of whom have become experts on education simply by running for office, support it with their great inexperience and our overtaxed dollars. With hope!

Jack Albertson
San Clemente, CA

Stop Ashcroft

Stop John Ashcroft NOW. He is so far right that even his fellow Republicans are against him. This guy is going to set us all back 200 years.Tell him to go find a new job where he is not seen or heard. Simply put, his narrow minded represenatation is dangerous to us all.

Freda Leang
San Diego

We defended our community

It is with up most happiness to share with you that we defended our community against the racist group lead by Barbara Cob and the California Coalition for Immigration Reform. In a meeting held this afternoon, the Anaheim City council board declined to be involved in a discriminatory proposition against the Latino community and their immigrants. It is a triumph that we should celebrate but without leaving our guard down.

This coalition, intended to persuade the city of Anaheim to allow their police force to act as immigration officers; responsibility that only rest in the INS. The great and hearted presentation on behalf our community was loud and clear: we should work together rather than be divided; we should build bridges of integration rather than discriminate based on skin color.

On behalf of the entire LULAC membership and our Latino community, I would like to congratulate the following individuals for defending our people with their heart and mind: Nativo Lopez, Amin David, Ross Romero, Zeke Hernandez, Josie Montoya, David Haas, David Parra and all other community organizations that participated in this meeting beside LULAC, such as Hermandad Mexicana Nacional, MALDEF, the labor unions, etc, etc. Thank you all!!!

Benny Diaz, Jr.,
District Director
OC LULAC District # 1

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