Every Kid’s Success Should Matter

Re: “Is Your School as Good as You Think?” Opinion, Oct. 31
Thank you for this excellent explanation of our current situation in Los Angeles public schools. As an LAUSD teacher I was coached to focus on the academic success of the third quartile of students. If those kids improved, our scores would go up. I ignored the advice, finding materials and creating opportunities for the children in my class without help from the district or school. I left LAUSD at the end of the year with such a feeling of disappointment, more for the children than myself. Surprisingly, when the district published the growth scores that year, visible by teacher, my students did well in spite of the challenges. I was so glad to eventually become a charter school principal to help build a system in which every child’s success mattered and in which I was not tied to unfair advice by the district.

Wendy Zacuto
Playa del Rey

Paid for My Crimes, But Can’t Find Housing

Re: “The Argonaut Poll: 65% Want More Regulation of Homeless Encampments,” Oct. 24
This poll is just The Argonaut pacifying its readers. Enforcement means incarceration and tickets. Housing and services take years, and then if you’re a convict good luck finding housing.
I’m on the streets homeless, clean and sober 13 years, but no one will rent to me because of my criminal history. And that, to me, is discrimination. I have paid for my crimes —served my time, completed my parole — and so have many others like me who also can’t find housing. Not renting to an ex-con should be illegal. We’re still Americans, and most of us are reformed. Some of us convicts turn out better than regular citizens.

David Garcia
Santa Monica