Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Schools comment was incompletely reported in paper

The Mountain Express took my quote out of context by withholding substantiating information. I’m referring to my letter that was read for me at the recent School District meeting; your reporter’s brief excerpt had me damning the value of a Wood River High School diploma without any of the letter’s qualifications (“Trustees extend school superintendent’s contract,” March 15).

What I wrote was that in 2010, Lonnie Barber told me that he had no problem with an illiterate obtaining a high school degree if it meant that he stayed in school; in fact, we discussed exactly such a case. I told Mr. Barber that granting such a diploma as a reward for staying in school in spite of illiteracy made a diploma from that school virtually valueless. This is a grave disservice to those students who by dint of four years of applied literacy and completion of required courses received exactly the same diploma. He had nothing to say about alternative schooling choices, vocational training or apprenticeships.

So we are left with a superintendent who feels it is entirely appropriate to waste $20,000 per year on students who should instead be studying for a career within their ability to learn and perform. One can only guess at the number of district students who belong somewhere other than high school.

Barber may at present have the backing of the trustees, but a sampling of parents, serious students and taxpayers might tell a different story.  

Gary F. Hoffman




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