Letter: Another angle on Malibu High principal

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Letter to the Editor

I have several things to say in response to the article “Block: the first year.” [Public Forum, June 13; originally printed in Malibu High School’s student newspaper The Current.] I hate to say it, since I have taught some of the students who wrote the article, but it definitely presents a one-sided view of a few important items. 

First, it is completely wrong in stating that “Mr. Block said that teachers should not count mock AP tests for a grade.” I was at that meeting and would not have agreed to any such thing. It seems like a small issue, but then the article goes on to use this to make a wider point about inconsistent enforcement of rules. 

Second, the issue of whether it is legal or not to force students to pay for an AP test is not nearly so cut and dry as the article makes it seem. Numerous school districts take the point of view that this practice is, in fact, not illegal. 

Unfortunately, the article’s authors chose to emphasize the point of view of a small group of teachers that have issues with what Mr. Block is doing. It’s going to get me in trouble, but I believe that the main thing that is going on is symptomatic of what is wrong with public education: teachers know they have more power than their principal. In what other job do people feel safe enough to do whatever they want (just about!) without fear of repercussions? 

Adam Panish