Minor follow-up to Times article on U$C and Spanish 3

I just got a call from someone at the LA Times Sports Department.  The person (whose name I don't remember -- Steve something?) asked to confirm that I had sent a letter in last week about the "Summertime, and the grading is easy" article from February 2, the one about Senora Ross and the ridiculously easy "A"s given to USC students.

Anyway, the person from the Times said that there is "a chance" that my letter will be in the Saturday edition in the Letters to the Editor section.  I'm assuming they'll edit it, but you never know.

Here's what I wrote (it's similar to my post on that thread on this topic last Saturday):

Dear Los Angeles Times Sports Department:

I was disgusted by this quote from Mary Ross, the Spanish teacher referenced in Lance Pugmire and Gary Klein's February 2, 2007 article ("Summertime, and the grading is easy"): "The most important thing in learning is that everyone likes the teacher."

This statement is a gross disservice to devoted teachers everywhere.  My wife was has been a high school English teacher for 12 years.  My father-in-law has been a high school history teacher for nearly 30 years.  The most important thing in learning is NOT that everyone likes the teacher.  The most important thing in learning is that the students LEARN.

In college, and even in high school, students do not have to LIKE the teacher in order to learn.  Students need to respect the teacher's knowledge of the subject, and that they will be held accountable if they do not complete the necessary work and demonstrate that they have
learned the lessons being taught.  A teacher can be the most unlikable, frightening old bat on this earth, but if he or she is respected, a grade from that teacher will truly mean something.

Popularity should not be a substitute for integrity.  Ross herself is quoted as saying that if someone is a "lazy ass, coming late all the time, acting like he doesn't care, I won't give him an A. I'll give him a B."  Merely showing up on time and acting like you care should not be 80% of the grade in a college-level course.  Given those stringent requirements, I doubt that the USC "student-athletes" who so enthusiastically promoted her Spanish 3 class respected Ms. Ross for being anything more than an academic tackling dummy.  

Is it the most important thing in learning to be liked?  NO.  The most important thing in learning is that students actually LEARN.

Respectfully yours,

Hope they don't totally take my words out of context and turn me into some raving Trojan apologist.


This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.

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