Sorry Mom

Dear Mom,

I am sorry to tell you that after more than 50 years of waking up to the Los Angeles Times for breakfast, and having watched you spend a couple of hours reading it cover to cover every day, I am cancelling my subscription.  In a way it feels like sacrilege, but I just cannot support a newspaper that endorses irresponsible journalism.  I tried to ignore the pleas of my Union and covertly read the paper for the past couple of weeks, but after learning of Rigoberto Ruelas’ suicide in reaction to his name being published as “less than effective” in the Times, I cannot support this paper any longer.  I will miss the morning ritual, and the comforting remembrances of you mom, every morning.  I will miss reading the writers I love and have been reading for most of my life.  I myself had a small editorial published in the paper years ago.  But I cannot believe that the writers, Jason Felch, Stephanie Ferrell, Megan Garvey, Thomas Suh Lauder, David Lauter, Julie Marquis, Sandra Poindexter, Ken Schwencke, Beth Shuster, Jason Song, Doug Smith, of the education article on Value Added Evaluations of teachers could not have done the same article without naming names and humiliating hundreds of decent, hardworking teachers.

As a teacher, I know we are not in this profession for the money or the glory.  We are in this profession to help children.  I am not writing about evaluation methods, simply about the notoriety seeking journalists that are making names for themselves on the backs of many teachers.  I would like to see Value Added Evaluations of those in the following professions:

Journalists-how many people benefit from your articles?

Lawyers-how many cases were won/lost?

Doctors/Dentists-how healthy are your patients?

Money Managers-how successful are your investments for your clients?

Accountants-how many of your clients are audited?

Automobile Industry-how safe are your cars?

Parents-how ready are your children to start school?

Let’s start naming names!

Students arrive at 5 years old, but the five years before formal public school are filled with the impact of many others including parents, preschool teachers, siblings, relatives, television, video games, neighbors and environment. I know there are claims that Value Added takes all of this into account, but can’t it be used to privately help teachers who need support and publicly without naming names?

For public education to succeed, we need the support of the students, parents, community, government, and media.

I am sorry mom, but really I think you would be proud of me because you were a wonderful teacher; in the classroom and in my life.  I love you.  Good by L.A. Times.


Filed under Education, Mom, reading

2 responses to “Sorry Mom

  1. Nancy

    I have been so appalled at this whole idea from the start. Shame on the Times for being a tool to so many distraught feelings for so many. Just wrong.


  2. Kim

    I know how hard this decision must have been for you, but I’m proud of you for standing up for what’s right. I can’t believe the Times named names. This was absolutely unnecessary, as far as I am concerned. What possible good could come out of pointing fingers at teachers who did not “pass” a new method of evaluation? I’m sure it will eventually come out that this evaluation is flawed, as they all always are (remember all that talk about the SAT, and how they revamped it, and how it’s still not indicative of a student’s potential for success in college?).

    Regardless of this tragic incident, the Times should be ashamed of themselves for publishing the names. Any word on whether they will be issuing a public apology or anything?


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