Response to Linda Thomas
Regarding Linda Thomas’ letter in the 2-6-13 edition of the Explorer, “Traditional public education works where expectations are high”. I worked with a man named Tony whose four children seemed to excel in every endeavor in which they engaged. I asked him what he did to develop such attitudes in his kids. He told me it’s a matter of expectations, expect a little, you get a little. Seems Linda Thomas has a similar approach. Hopefully, after she accomplishes her goals, she will move up to bigger jobs in government. I can think of at least one job where she would be a big improvement.
Richard R. Gallimore,
Thomas’ point leaves much to be desired
Linda Thomas’ article, “Traditional public education works where expectations are high”, left much to be desired. She quotes a 2009 study, yet here we are in 2013, four years later. Can’t she find anything more current?
Thomas then refers to Richard Brinkley’s article where he cited the “KIPP schools as a successful model.” She then states, “There is a reason they work. Most KIPP schools have longer days…include Saturday classes, and three weeks of summer school: typically a KIPP school provides 60 percent more time in school than a regular public school.” Then she claims that KIPP’s attrition rate would not work as a model for public education.
However, Thomas failed to mention Mathematica Policy Research, in September 2012, stated in its working paper, Student Selection, Attrition and Replacement in KIPP Schools, stated, “Rates of exit from KIPP schools are typically no different than rates at nearby district schools, and students exiting KIPP schools have characteristics similar to those of students exiting local district schools. To replace students who exit through attrition, KIPP schools admit a substantial number of new students in grade 6 but admit fewer students in grades 7 and 8 than do nearby public schools…” And, if KIPP schools work, as Thomas admits, why doesn’t Thomas suggest that public education adopt the “best practices” model of KIPP schools? Thomas’ article was skewed with old data and bias against charter schools. The Explorer Newspaper can do better.