We read of remarkable teaching methods in New York or somewhere, and wonder why those methods can't be practiced in our school district. But like prophets without honor in their own home towns, remarkable teachers and methods in our district are without merit unless convenient. Our board praised Henderson's methods, but four of the seven refused to continue them because they were, perhaps, costlier than orthodox methods.
One board member described Henderson School as the best-kept secret in the district. Here's that secret: Henderson teaches seventh-, eighthand ninth-graders the same subjects at the same level as other schools, but shows exceptional achievement from students who failed those same subjects at other schools.
The teachers and administrators at Henderson deserve a resounding thanks. But seeing that the district is riddled with students who are failing in many subjects, the common-sense question is, why aren't Henderson's methods practiced throughout the district? It's not a lack of money, but a lack of will and imagination.
Rather than duplicate Henderson's success throughout the district, four board members want to cut ninth grade from Henderson and leave those students to the same teaching methods that have failed them throughout their education.
The right thing for those students is that they continue at Henderson through ninth grade (or 10th). The right thing for the district is to apply Henderson's methods on a broader scale. Educators see it that way; administrators perhaps look for the more convenient and cheap route.
If not careful, the Fair Appropriate Public Education Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act may take them down a road that is neither convenient or cheap. I can't explain these laws, but a good lawyer can, and would be well-paid for doing so. Even if defending the district in regards to these laws, he/she would be wellpaid. And the district would be paying.
The district can do the right thing because it is the right thing, or it can choose the convenient and cheap route and find itself in more trouble than it had bargained for.