A single K-12 school district would be better

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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It was interesting to read proclamations by the superintendents of districts 97 and 200 [School districts take 'steps,' not 'leaps' on race, equity, News, May 28]. These articles about discipline imbalance between African-American and white students and the educational gap visit your paper every year or two. If you were to review articles on these subjects from past issues, they would have to go back to 1994.

There has only been one public school district in the United States that has closed the education gap: Montgomery, Maryland. It is a K-12 district with the same demanding superintendent for over 10 years.

The subject needs reams of print, not just my observations. How can a child from a single-parent home, usually without a father figure, compete with a child from a two-parent home, usually with a higher degree of education? A few will succeed because of an outstanding, driven parent, but that is not the norm.

I can take you to inner-city schools where they teach discipline; they don't administer it. Our superintendents are well-meaning men with their hands tied behind their backs. Some students require longer school days in order to catch-up. Some students need a guiding hand to help them solve their discipline problems. If you didn't understand what was going on in your class, would you act dumb or tough? 

Our present system hasn't been able to help many of those minority students who have fallen behind. Twenty years and no improvement. Given our present culture, we are probably worse off.

Maybe one K-12 school district would make sure that everyone involved with the child's education understood the total situation. Presently, our exceedingly legalistic system keeps a child's records from following him/her from grammar school to high school, perhaps from primary to middle school. K through 12 is a better idea than what we are presently working with and is fiscally superior. 

Jack Flynn

River Forest

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