Common sense for our schools

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Having volunteered in the Oak Park school system for over 25 years, several things seem like common sense, but that isn't very common anymore.

First, in speaking with an educational specialist who spent some time working on reducing the achievement gap, he discovered that high schools that do not have the administration of the students from kindergarten through 12th grade are at a huge disadvantage and you can't find any models of success. If we had one school district, then the administration would realize very early in a child's education where additional resources were necessary.

Second, in considering the discipline problems and the desire for equity and equality, it seems that uniforms would be a great help in reducing the problems reported. There is both some jealousy and perhaps some contempt in how some students perceive how their peers dress. From what I have read, many schools that have switched to uniforms find minor discipline problems and some bullying down over 50%. Wouldn't that be delightful? Maybe we wouldn't need all the additional staff.

Perhaps a committee of former school board members and retired educators could review the information available and offer up some solutions that will save money and attain the desired goals.

Jack Flynn

River Forest

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Kline Maureen  

Posted: June 26th, 2019 11:24 AM

Good points Tom, and thanks for sharing your perspective. I am sure implementing a dress code would bring howls of protest from some parent and teachers and many students. But most would figure out how to adjust and deal with the new requirements - maybe some would leave but I doubt there would be a large number leaving just because of a uniform policy. The single school district would be a bit more challenging given that we have elementary districts in two different communities. And different salary structures between the three current public school districts.

Tom Tarrant  

Posted: June 26th, 2019 7:09 AM

Great opinion article! I left retired from district 200 last year and now teach at a charter school in rural North Carolina. We have a uniform policy for students and dress code for teachers. It creates a very professional environment which promotes a positive learning climate. Any discipline issues rarely result in a loss if instructional time for students.

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