PUBLIC FORUM : SCHOOLS OF EDUCATION DESERVE BLAME FOR SCORES.
I transferred from Pasadena City College to University of California at Berkeley in the 1960s, and one day ran into another transfer student on campus. She planned to do the five years for her certificate and go into elementary or high school teaching.
I don't remember what triggered the conversation, but she told me that the school of education there distrusted the student with higher grades who suddenly decided, toward the end of his or her four years of college, to become a teacher.
She said the people who ran the education department figured those students had perhaps tried for graduate school and failed, and settled on teaching as a second choice. Instead, they actually were looking for the good, dependable C student.
- Jack Cook
Re student testing:
Our colleges are teaching remedial reading, writing and math, as obvious an admission of failure as anything. Hooked on Phonics is a multimillion-dollar business.
And we're spending billions on public education.
When confronted, the anointed who head our educational systems state that we need more of their guidance, expertise, theories, and probably a few more arts and crafts classes.
I think we need more of their resignations.
- Mike Hannin
United Teachers Los Angeles President Day Higuchi (Daily News, Feb. 26) is just flapping his gums with criticism of a potential Los Angeles Unified School District breakup.
If it were not for his union controlling school officials, there would be no talk of a breakup.
I applaud Superintendent Ruben Zacarias' reform plan, but it may be too little too late. The union and school administrators have convinced citizens that LAUSD is too large a district to serve the population of Los Angeles with quality education.
- Robert Hansen
James J. Lyons and Jorge Amselle failed to mention a key point about Ron Unz's ``English for the Children'' proposition (``The language barrier,'' Opinions, Feb. 24) that should concern all those who supported Proposition 187.
Unz, who opposed Proposition 187, included a provision in his proposition that will override Proposition 187's prohibition on public elementary and secondary school education for children who are illegally present in the United States.
Proposition 187 states: ``No public elementary or secondary school shall admit, or permit the attendance of, any child who is not a citizen of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted as a permanent resident, or a person who is otherwise authorized under federal law to be present in the United States.''
Unz's proposition says, ``The government and the public schools of California have a moral obligation and a constitutional duty to provide all of California's children, regardless of their ethnicity or national origins, with the skills necessary to become productive members of our society, and of these skills, literacy in the English language is among the most important.''
It also says that his new section ``shall be assumed to contain the governing intent of the statute.'' It does not say ``all of California's children who are legally entitled to attend public elementary or secondary school,'' but broadly ``all of California's children,'' which necessarily includes those who are here illegally.
It is not necessary to override the key part of Proposition 187 in order to reduce bilingual education in the public schools. Yet, this is what Unz is trying to do and the voters need to know about it.
- Allan J. Favish
Re your Feb. 27 story ``City breaks bank to pay for moving treasury safe'':
This type of fiscal irresponsibility by L.A. city bureaucrats is stupid but not surprising. What is really amazing is the city needing to store a ``multimillion-dollar stash of cash.'' Think of the lost income from interest.
This really sounds fiscally stupid. If there is a rational explanation, I would like to hear it. Actually, I would like to hear it even if it isn't rational.
- Bill Hamburg
Veterans' health care
The former Veterans Administration Medical Center in the Valley is now a clinic - no after-hours urgent care and no inpatient services.
As a cardiac patient, I need to be able to get medical care sometimes between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. the next day. West Los Angeles is fine if you have a medical need that can wait several hours.
Many of us receive Medicare, for which we pay each month. Why can't the benefits be assigned to the VA instead of to a Medicare HMO?
- Sanford Garland
Bikes on sidewalks
The Daily News has published letters regarding the danger to pedestrians in crosswalks.
What about the danger to pedestrians on sidewalks by bicycles? Riders constantly force walkers off with no regard to safety.
Nothing is ever done about this problem, and it is becoming increasingly worse. Even the police ignore the problem.
- Gladys Barnes
In response to your Feb. 22 editorial ``More than they can chew?'':
Our letter-grade system of restaurant inspections informs the public on restaurant sanitary practices and compliance with health codes. This action received wide support from the public and many restaurant owners.
While the county has the ability to close dirty restaurants, it is essential that all 88 cities require restaurants to post letter grades to inform the public. Those restaurants that receive unacceptable grades should be allowed to pay for two additional inspections; one within five days and another surprise inspection at the discretion of the Department of Health Services. These actions will assist in the protection of the health and safety of our readers.
- Michael D. Antonovich
Supervisor, 5th District
Motorola faults editorial on L.A. contract
A Daily News editorial on Feb. 27 (``When cost is no object; if taxpayers foot the bill, city shoots the works'') contains some inaccurate and highly misleading information about a $50 million radio communications contract that will be before the City Council today.
The Daily News said that a competitor of Motorola had offered to provide a system for $20 million less. The city's request for proposals established the manner in which proposals for contracts of this type were to be made. There never has been a proposal by anyone to offer the LAPD a radio system for $20 million less.
Neither has there been supporting engineering documentation to substantiate the claim that it would be possible to deliver the requested system for $20 million less. In fact, the competitor referenced in the editorial elected not to bid on the project several years ago.
We question the Daily News giving credence in an editorial to informal statements made outside of the procurement procedure established by law.
Motorola has invested years of engineering work to design a digital radio communications system for the Los Angeles Police Department. It reflects years of input by the LAPD on details of this extremely complex system.
The LAPD system will become a communications showcase for the 21st century. It will enable police officers in one part of the city to talk with police officers in another part of the city without a cumbersome patch system. It is designed to be extremely adaptable in emergencies.
The LAPD repeatedly has made it clear that it needs a new radio system, and the Daily News editorial does not take issue with that. The current system is technologically outdated, increasingly costly to maintain, and limited in the features and capabilities it can provide. The current system is overloaded and recently failed twice.
The editorial also referenced Motorola's choice of subcontractors. To suggest that Motorola is in a position to receive an award for political reasons due to its subcontractor selection is outrageous. Motorola has been in the two-way radio business for more than 60 years. We pride ourselves on being the industry leader in providing mission-critical radio systems to meet the needs of the public safety community.
Motorola followed the city procurement process and selected system subcontractors from the city's own list of approved minority- and women-owned contractors. Those subcontractors were approved by the City Council in November 1996. More importantly, Motorola selected extremely well-qualified subcontractors to assist on the critically needed radio system.
We also need to clarify that the City Council is not voting on the existing Motorola contract for a mobile data system. However, incorrect comments in the editorial related to that contract need to be addressed. The mobile data system is still in the design stage, and Motorola is developing plans to expedite the installation schedule. The latest proposal from Motorola will provide the city with new technology at no additional cost.
We believe that the Daily News unfairly represented and discredited years of design work and negotiation by the LAPD and Motorola to provide the LAPD with state-of-the-art communications systems.
The issue before the council today is clear cut: The LAPD will be asking for council approval to proceed on a critically needed radio communications system. The users on the current radio system, the LAPD officers, deserve it.
- T.W. Jaron
Corporate vice president,