Lessons in education reform from two schools in Kansas
Regarding education reform, here are two schools of thought and the same basic results in academic success: These two schools in Kansas have done this since the conception of each school — the public school since the late 1920s and the private school since 1963.
Baxter Springs High School has done this for many years and has earned many awards along the way. In the school year of 2009 it earned academic championship awards for excellence in reading, writing and math from the state of Kansas. In 2009 it also won the National Blue Ribbon School award from the United States.
Wichita Collegiate has all upper-class students take the SAT and their average is typically 17-25 percent higher than the national average. Their students score 15-20 percent higher than the national average on the ACT. One-hundred percent of the senior class attends college.
Both schools believe in embracing those changes that make learning more effective, meaningful and pertinent for their students. They are not quick to adopt every new “fad” in education that comes along.
Both schools believe that students from the early years to the high school years should be held accountable for their education. Learn the basics in reading, writing and math — no short-cuts.
Many school districts in Kansas adhere to A, B, C and failing grades. Kansas schools do quite well on the STAR test. Maybe back-to-basics would work here if the teachers were allowed to teach the basics of learning.
Daughter’s experience shows why we need Uncharted Shores
Regarding the Dec. 20 article, “Shut down Uncharted Shores?” our daughter is a student at the Uncharted Shores Academy. I drive her every day to school. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind, if I did not drive her to school, she would walk, run or crawl to get there.
Four years ago we did not bring a “gifted,” academically speaking, child to this academy, rather one that found school and learning difficult. Now we have a extremely happy daughter who has a very strong desire to learn and we credit USA for this desire it has instilled in her.
Superintendent Don Olson was right on the mark, “People love that school.” People of all sizes do indeed love that school and closing that school just isn’t the right thing to do.
Bill and Beverly Jacobs