Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Helping Adolescents, or Setting Up Straw Men?

March 14, 2006 1 min read
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To the Editor:

I found it both interesting and disturbing that Cheri Pierson Yecke in her Commentary acknowledged the difference between the middle grades and schools that embrace the middle school concept, then set up a straw man by defining each term to mean something that it doesn’t (“Mayhem in the Middle,” Feb. 1, 2006).

Middle grades are just that—grades in the middle of the K-12 continuum. Schools that embrace the middle school concept, as opposed to schools that use the label “middle school” but do not fully espouse that idea, hold high behavioral and academic expectations. These schools also address the full spectrum of needs that research shows for students in this age group.

There is no dichotomy in addressing all of students’ needs through full implementation of the middle school concept. Ms. Yecke might as well criticize democracy by referring to the late German Democratic Republic.

Ralph White

Assistant Principal

Parish Hill Middle/Senior High School

Chaplin, Conn.

A version of this article appeared in the March 15, 2006 edition of Education Week as Helping Adolescents, or Setting Up Straw Men?

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