April 14, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Letters to the Editor:

The music plays on

To the editor:

A recent publication, “The Sound of Silence” (available at http://music-for-all.org/sos.html), details a 50% decline of enrollment in public school music classes over the last five years in California schools due to state budget cuts, high-stakes testing, and the implementation of No Child Left Behind. This is a decrease of more than one-half million students. A similar situation arose after the passage of Prop 13 in 1978, which resulted in SMMUSD eliminating its districtwide elementary general/vocal music program.

However, thanks to the leadership of Superintendent John Deasy and the support of the SMMUSD Board of Education, the number of grade 4-12 music students in our local schools has actually grown over the last five years.

This year, the school board adopted a long-range “Arts for All” plan for PreK-12 that will eventually provide all district students with access to comprehensive, sequential, standards-based arts instruction. As part of that plan, we will see a return of the elementary general/vocal music program, and once again all K-5 students in SMMUSD will be singing, taught by credentialed music teachers. That is the “sound” I long to hear.

Zina Josephs

Santa Monica

Any questions?

To the editor:

Who would profit if part of social security were to become private investment accounts? An obvious answer is investment companies and stock brokers.

Who were the ten largest contributors to George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign? All stock brokers, and companies that deal in investments, companies that will profit enormously from fees from increased investment in stocks and bonds: Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, PriceWaterhouse, UBS Americas, Goldman Sachs, MBNA, Credit Suisse First Boston, Lehman Brothers, Citigroup (Smith Barney is part of Citigroup), and Bear Stearns.

Are there any questions?

Stephen Krashen


Misleading students

To the editor:

I think it is awful that military recruiters use misleading tactics to recruit students, especially at a time when so many of our troops are in harm’s way in Iraq. The promise of $70,000 for college is just factually wrong. If you study the GI Bill, you will learn that VERY FEW veterans qualify for the amounts that recruiters and advertisements quote.

The US government needs to understand that today’s students are smart, and can read the fine print about how much money we will actually receive for our education in return for military service. The amounts typically received aren’t even close to the ever-increasing costs of a college education.

We need to work together to end these misleading ad campaigns that entice young people to enlist by offering false hope and empty promises. Surely America can do better than that! Enlisting when you are told the truth and have the facts you need to make an informed decision is one thing, but enlisting when you are given misleading or false informaton is just plain wrong.

Mason Vance

Canoga Park

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