My thanks to Mr. Macaulay for expressing clearly what I, in my rage, at the cancerous car “culture” have been unable to effectively articulate over many years. My continuing question that has remained unanswered is: Why the heck are pedestrians are required to push a button to cross the street? How is this not discriminatory? On the bus to L.A. now, while it’s not true at all intersections, most intersections there don’t require the push of a button. Is there not madness in this as well?

Steve Keats
Santa Monica

Tackling the achievement gap


Regarding your article in the June 15 issue about renowned scholar Pedro Noguera and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District hiring him to address a variety of race-related issues:

With all due respect, Mr. Noguera is not the savior to narrow the district’s achievement gap between Hispanics and African-Americans and their peers. With respect to the achievement gap, I have been out of the loop fore more than a decade but I suspect things are much the same as they were when I participated in the district’s first Minority Student Advisory Committee in the late 1990s and did so for four years. Going on 20 years and the district does this and does that, but this and that haven’t worked. Substantial change takes forever.

What is it going to take? In my opinion a real commitment from the superintendent to administrators to teachers to parents to early educational child care — not lip service that pacifies advocates and parents but really doesn’t accomplish goals.

An example of how wrong our leaders think is what our City Councilmember Gleam Davis said about the Santa Monica College-run Early Childhood Education Center proposed for the Civic Auditorium property: “This is the type of program that can help close the achievement gap.” What a joke. Minority parents and their children don’t get spots in these types of programs; neither do many residents and their children. City workers, college workers and insiders do. Enough lip service. Time for real commitment and team work that benefits minorities.

Larry Arreola
Santa Monica

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