Kevin Clarke: Support for the school district.
north of Silverthorne
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Summit County School District and the school board for trying to improve our children’s education. For the record, I have two students in the district. One of them is at the middle school and the other is at Dillon Valley. We chose to have our children attend the dual-language program so they would have the advantage of being multi-lingual in an increasingly multi-cultural world. Our family is fortunate not to be financially disadvantaged, and we do not face the challenges of being a racial minority and, as you can tell by my writing this letter, we are involved in our children’s education. My daughters are neither “gifted and talented” nor are they “developmentally challenged.” They are wonderful daughters, and I would say they are representative of the majority of students in our school district in that they are the “middle 80 percent.” These are the students who rarely receive the benefits of the current “honors tracking system” and do not require mandated educational assistance.
It is a bold move to step into the emotionally charged arena of primary and secondary education. It is even a bolder move to suggest that the status quo be changed. It is in support of trying to do the right thing that I would like to thank the district. I admit that I also feel there are things the district could have done better to inform the public about “equal access.” I also agree that there may be issues with the implementation of the current plan. I do feel it would be a mistake to support the return to, or the maintaining of, the old tracking system.
Every child deserves to be challenged to achieve their best. The current system places a majority of students in the “one size fits all” environment that so many opponents of equal access are against. I am absolutely against any watering down of academic standards that will prevent any student from reaching their potential, and we cannot “close the achievement gap” by reducing the performance of the top academic achievers. I am, however, against a system that only provides the true opportunity to excel to a few.
I hope as a community we can come together and create a system truly better for all of our students. I strongly suggest all parents and community members be involved in the process and do more than watch from the sidelines. Again, thank you to the school board and school district for trying to improve our children’s education, and I hope that through a thoughtful evaluation of the equal access implementation process we will achieve that goal.
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