Broadway’s traditional students would be better served at Westminster
Re: “Mandarin program will soon seek new home, but not at Del Rey middle school,” (Argonaut, June 13)
Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member Steve Zimmer and Superintendent Dr. John Deasy had a chance to demonstrate beyond rhetoric that the district is poised to compete with charters and private schools, by allowing the vastly popular Mandarin program, which serves the needs of new and old families of Venice, to remain at Broadway Elementary.
The nearly empty school was almost closed by the district due to low enrollment. Then, in response to the demands of a rapidly changing neighborhood, Broadway started a Mandarin immersion program that will max out the school’s capacity in three years.
The vast majority of students at Broadway Elementary in Venice are enrolled in the Mandarin immersion program, and for the first time in over a decade, the school is operating at full capacity. LAUSD and specifically, Zimmer, has been trying to force the popular program out because its growth threatens the struggling traditional school where children have been forced to “share” grades for the past three years, unable to meet federal funding targets for enrollment.
If the Mandarin immersion program were able to remain at the Broadway location, the traditional students would by no means be left behind for the success of the new program. There is another traditional school, Westminster Elementary, just blocks away which is ready and able to incorporate Broadway’s traditional students. The truth is, these students would be far better served at the comprehensive school down the street rather than a specialized school that only obligingly maintains a struggling traditional school that has outlived its relevance and fiscal sustainability in a gentrified neighborhood.
It is painfully obvious that the district is not moving towards reform and is not flexible enough to meet the changing demands of a rapidly changing community. Instead, LAUSD remains stuck in the old model and wants taxpayers to foot the bill.
The projected cost to colocate the Mandarin immersion program on the Marina Del Rey Middle School campus was $5.2 million. The cost to redistrict the traditional 80 non-permitted students who can legally claim Broadway as their “neighborhood” school a mere five blocks away, $0.
Erika Kirsten Beck
Marina del Rey

Gracious for law enforcement response
This letter is in regard to the shooting rampage by John Zawahri in Santa Monica on Friday, June 7.
I want to thank all of the law enforcement agencies that acted quickly and neutralized the shooter at Santa Monica College.
My thanks to the Santa Monica Police, Santa Monica College Police, Los Angeles Police Department Pacific division, California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Culver City Police K-9 unit and the Santa Monica Fire Department and paramedics.
Thank you for the heroic service in ending this shooting rampage and saving countless citizens and students from being slaughtered.
Gerald Tlapa
Los Angeles