Helping Adolescents, or Setting Up Straw Men?

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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.

Vol. 25, Issue 27, Page 36

Published in Print: March 15, 2006, as Helping Adolescents, or Setting Up Straw Men?

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