Letter: How does a bigger pool improve grades?


It is a common assumption that school is where you go to get smarter. Maybe yes, maybe no. How would having a bigger swimming pool improve the chances of fulfilling this goal? Sports (once called “physical education”) was based on the Greek concept that a developed mind requires a developed body—a means to an end, not an end itself. Today, the school has become a farm team for professional teams or a scholarship source. It is the nerd that is ostracized while the athletes are celebrated. 

Years ago, LBHS joined the Academic Decathlon, a competition among Southern California high schools over the state-required subjects. Our school lost to low-income communities every time. It was so embarrassing that it pulled out and never participated again. It still is a problem. The school doesn’t offer enough important courses and hires teachers who are not prepared to teach; for example, maybe coaches hired to teach a particular sport are assigned to teach an academic course that they would rather not and let their disappointment be known to the students. Grades have slipped.

If there is enough tax money to extend an old pool and build a new pool, maybe we could use it better to teach our students. If a 25′ pool extension will make our swimmers smarter, let’s do it or have them swim a couple of extra laps. It would be a lot cheaper and less hassle.

Gene Cooper, retired art history professor and Laguna Beach resident

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  1. I agree with you mister Cooper, the schools are not what they used to be, what they teach now is revised History and I am afraid not much else. Those students are now whom I have to go to when I call a Dr’s Office or any business..good gravy, they either don’t know anything or give the wrong information. I once asked the kid (H.S. graduate) whom worked in the meat dept at one of our markets here in town, I needed a prime rib and asked if he can please cut it down for me, he looked at me in horror, and said we don’t do that here! I knew the schools were run by the unions, but the complete stupidity is truly astounding, I found that also with the take over and vandalizing of our colleges, many were interviewed yet really did not know why they were there and simply cannot understand why they didn’t get their way! Entitlement and none work seem to be the rule of the day..Glad I am old because it is scary out there and I remember how important school was and we were expected to do our best…


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