Archive for Tuesday, December 28, 2004

LAHS closing

December 28, 2004


To the editor:

For years, people have expressed concern about our public school system, so bureaucratic it leaves kids behind, cannot or will not submit to educational orthodoxy.

The superintendent presented a plan to correct many problems. I personally commend him for his idealistic plan to change the entire school culture, incorporating values and strategies already in place at Lawrence Alternative High School, to reach all students. His plan includes closing LAHS, while implementing these changes in the mainstream.

Reteaching teachers and changing a system, which the students at LAHS had to escape to succeed, takes time. The plan is to incorporate a more flexible, individualized education, tailored to each students' needs. The true test of effectiveness of the new program will become evident over time. If feasible, LAHS will become obsolete.

What will happen with the students now and in the future who would have dropped out of school, had it not been for LAHS? They are destined for reintegration next school year, before Randy Weseman's plan is solidly in effect.

Rome was not built in one day, and reteaching teachers and changing our entire school culture in just one semester is unrealistic. The decision to close the LAHS has been made, no matter how frightening to the students who remember the reasons they left the mainstream.

Josie Thorp,


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