Archive for Wednesday, May 1, 2002

Letter: Alternative school view

May 1, 2002

Alternative school view

To the editor:

If you took a poll about the need for an alternative school, I suspect you would get a variety of answers. If you asked a homeschooling mom that question, however, I think you would get an absolute and unequivocal, "YES!" because that's exactly what we do in homeschool teach an alternative school. While there are a variety of reasons that has led us to homeschool, many will tell you that the public school setting just wasn't working for their children.

And I'm not talking about trouble makers, Mr. Moore at least not at the grade school level (although that's what they could become by the time they hit junior high.). I'm talking about the kids who are behind and can't seem to catch up, the kids who are advanced and bored, the kids who work at a different pace, the kids who need to touch it to learn about it, the kids who need to see it to understand it, the kids who are a grade ahead in math and a grade behind in spelling.

By the time kids make it to junior high without their needs being met, you're dealing with problems that should have never happened in the first place.

Tonganoxie grade school has a great opportunity to offer NOT an alternative school that is a stigmatizing place for the "misfits," but a totally alternative school that gives up the notion of grades by ages and allows ALL students to move at their ability level in every subject.

If this seems like too much of a leap from the current system, the very least they could do is to group kids by learning styles with a teacher that matches them. Cookie cutter education should be just as repulsive to us as a cookie cutter job market would be.

In a way, I agree with you, Mr. Moore, because I think an alternative school (in the sense of one handling troublemakers and near drop-outs) for junior high shouldn't be necessary. I believe it needs to start in the grade school where educators need to think outside the grade level box we need a whole new deal.

Jodi Bowersox,


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