To the Editor:
Tom Vander Ark’s Commentary (“Lessons From High School Reform: Achieving ‘Success at Scale,’” June 22, 2005) should be required reading for every public-policy maker in America. He is dead on target, with but one small exception.
The idea that we should not “allow or even encourage low-income and minority students to take disconnected, poorly taught, dead-end courses” misses the mark. There should be no disconnected, poorly taught, dead-end courses to take, period. The existence of such a course indicates the existence of a disconnected, poorly prepared, dead-end teacher. The existence of that teacher indicates the existence of a like principal, superintendent, school board, state department of education, and so on.
Public education cannot improve as it must with disconnected, poorly prepared, dead-end people.