‘Dead-End Courses’ Lead Back to Dead-End People

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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.

Jon Butzon
Charleston, S.C.

Vol. 24, Issue 42, Pages , 39

Published in Print: July 13, 2005, as ‘Dead-End Courses’ Lead Back to Dead-End People

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