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Times investigation on firing teachers strikes a nerve in L.A.

May 4, 2009 |  1:56 pm

The Times' investigation looking into how difficult it is for the Los Angeles Unified School District to fire teachers has prompted a passionate reaction among readers. Many are outraged that it's so difficult to dismiss even teachers whose misdeeds seem so apparent. But others take it a step further, blaming the teachers' union for keeping bad instructors in the classroom.

"You have exposed the reason why I believe this country's future is at peril," wrote O.M. "Teaching is a very graceful profession, but very many teachers teach for a paycheck only and not because they like the profession. ...  I believe unions are nothing but a bunch of parasites that are there to protect its host."

Others wondered whether there is more that administrators need to be doing.

"I have taught high school for 32 years and have no doubt that there are teachers that should not be in the classroom," wrote Ben. "However, in my experience most of those teachers were hired by incompetent administrators who did not do their homework before hiring. Administrators are only too happy to recommend these teachers to other districts to get rid of them."

Reader Mark also places some blame on students: "While in an organization as large as the LAUSD there are certainly some employees, and undoubtedly including some of the teachers, who are incompetent, however the major problem is those students who misbehave need to be fired (expelled)."

Reader Sam added: "Get rid of tenure. There is no need for it."

Check out the more than 600 comments and counting. 

-- Shelby Grad