Monday, March 28, 2011

 San Pedro Resident Mitch Harmatz Writes His Fears About Education Becoming Privatized After His Wife Receives Her Pink Slip and Another Mother Gives Her Views on the Latest Round of 7,000 Layoffs in the Los Angeles Unified School District

Submitted By Mitch Harmatz
“…We cannot have a free society, unless we have an educated and literate public…”
     On March 13th, my wife, a fifth grade teacher at Park Western Elementary School, along with 12 other colleagues and thousands of other teachers in our community were fired.
     Contrary to what the gentleman my wife met one night at Starbucks believes, the teachers I know are dedicated, visionary, and committed to our children and our community.
     Maybe the union is not so well run, and yes the school district does waste money and just as likely the teachers do need a better PR firm but the reality is:  Education and the value of education starts with the household and is reflected in our society.
     Disneyland offers a free pass on your birthday.  They do not say Saturday or Sunday only or just on school holidays.  Disneyland does not offer a free pass for straight “A” students.  What does this teach our children?
     When a child cannot get to school because the parent, if there is a parent, cannot get up or is not around, the school is not allowed to add 10 points to that student’s score.  No, the teacher is graded as not adding value.
     The” billion dollar” privatization of public education is a march by a few to benefit those few.  When the march is no longer to provide quality affordable public education rather to generate “tools of securitization” known as student loans we as a community need to support our public schools, work together to improve our public education system, not make our teachers or immigration the scapegoats, and most important push back against the attempt to end public education.
     Every successful business person knows an educated community sustains our community. 
     Every successful business persons knows that diversity of ideas sustains the process of continual improvement.
     Support our public education system.  Call Sacramento and let them know we support public education.  Write to the state senate and assembly and tell them we support public education.  Call San Pedro High School, our high school, and ask what you can do. 
     By the way, the quote above; Governor-elect Ronald Reagan, January 11, 1967.
Mitch Harmatz, Owner Plaza Automotive Center & Park Plaza Shell on Western in San Pedro has a Bachelor of Science degree in Philosophy; UCLA
 And a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts Degree from Cal State University Dominguez Hills

He is a San Pedro Resident with three children; one at  UC Santa Cruz (accepted for Fall 2010) and graduate of San Pedro High, Dodson Middle School;  a junior at San Pedro High School;  and a seventh grader at Dodson Middle School.  They all graduated from Park Western.
 Submitted by Rachel Fischer
The rules for teacher layoffs were never intended for the current situation. 
Who could have predicted such dire financial circumstances? The state’s rules 
that protect seniority don’t make sense at a local level. Forcing upwards of 40 
percent turnover at any school destroys  years of community and educational 
program building. 
In all of this, the question needs to be asked:  “What is best for the kids?” The adults can find other jobs, but the kids can’t just choose to go to school another year.  A 
lost year in a kid’s life can make all the difference.”