Jack Crowe got everything right, except what the response might be on his idea to have a KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) school in Oak Park to close the achievement gap. [A contentious way to close the gap, Jack Crowe, June 17]

First, could the union be against a teacher willing to use the KIPP method – teaching much longer hours and getting more pay?

Second, some students need the extra time and special teaching and are no longer a burden in the standard classes. Could the union be against that?

Third, if just a few teachers or teacher assistants were not certified yet, but proved valuable in teaching those students who needed KIPP-type instruction, could the union be against that?

We are all looking for a change. And transforming education is one of the most necessary things we should be seeking. If Oak Park is as progressive as it claims to be, wouldn’t this be a great place to start the revolution? There are two elementary schools (K-8) and one middle school in Austin that have more than 90 percent of their students graduating at an eighth grade level or better in math and reading. If it can happen in Austin, it certainly can happen in Oak Park.

This achievement gap has been festering at the high school for more than 15 years. This fresh approach could be the answer. There isn’t anything to lose because efforts to date have been fruitless. District 97, don’t be like our politicians who stall around every good idea that might infringe upon their control. Go for it. You will get the support you need.

Jack Flynn
River Forest

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