Archive for Thursday, September 8, 2011

Magnet potential

Local school officials should take a look at magnet schools or other efforts to challenge the district’s top students.

September 8, 2011


A Sunday Journal-World story about the possibility of starting an International Baccalaureate magnet school in the Lawrence school district noted, “At this point, the concept simply has been floated as an idea by (school board member Rick) Ingram during the board’s goals-setting process. Other board members have asked questions about how much the program would cost, both to enter the program and to train educators to implement the curriculum.”

It’s unfortunate that the first concern seems to be the cost of such a program rather than what it would add to the excellence of the school system or the possible dividends from a more challenging academic program for some district students.

Consider all the efforts, emphasis and money spent trying to elevate and stimulate students who need help to improve their academic skills. What about providing similar programs to stimulate and bring out the best in Lawrence’s superior students?


devobrun 6 years, 8 months ago

"What about providing similar programs to stimulate and bring out the best in Lawrence’s superior students?" Actually, Lawrence public students have very good opportunities to excel academically. Lawrence public school teachers are quite good and resources are too.

Now if the school system could provide a safer place, a place with less social distractions, a place that values honesty, integrity, and moral values.........that would be new. With computers, educational techniques, and professional teachers, today's schools provide more advanced skills than ever before in education. But we don't need more high school grads who can solve non-linear differential equations.

The whole world needs kids who leave high school knowing how to be honest, strong in conviction, and brave. Their heart doesn't have to bleed for their fellow man. They don't have to be able to recite Keats, Shelley, or Angelou. And they don't have to be able to synthesize p-polyamerase cis 4 polybutadiene.

They need to show up and do a job. They need to be trustworthy. They need to be responsible citizens who don't wind up sapping money from some government system.

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 8 months ago

We have a problem in lawrence and it is getting worse. We do not provide enough opportunity for high performing kids and politics prevents us from addressing the problems.

At the the present pace we are accepting a lesser standard for our best and brightest and ultimately mediocrity.

We should listen to our kids more. The ones in the system and the ones who have excelled in college and ask them. Too often, the adults make things worse.

devobrun 6 years, 8 months ago

jayhawklawrence, I call B.S.

Motivated scholars can choose from difficult classes in public school. My son took calculus 1 and 2 from Free State. He aced the final exams and wound up with 10 hours of college credit in calculus. All we had to do was enroll him at KU and pay some money......then transfer those credits to the college he attended. College level calculus. With a similar Spanish situation he entered college 1 semester away from being a sophomore.

What do you want, jayhawklawrence?

My guess is that there are similar programs in other areas of endeavor in our public schools.
I teach at a local private school. Nobody remains unchallenged in my classes.

Finally, no matter how amazingly intelligent a high school student is.....they aren't mature. They must grow up. I know a woman who moved from Puerto Rico when she was 9. She graduated from high school, in Orlando at 16, and began a full ride at Princeton. She took 4 years there because she knew that she needed to grow up. Today she is 31. She has many accomplishments......but she still needs to grow up in many ways. I think she was advanced too early. She would have been better off staying with her peer group and living the life that the rest of us have....except.with straight A+ grades.

Lawrence Morgan 6 years, 8 months ago

This is a great idea. Especially for older people, who have had time to think out things and work towards the future. It shouldn't be, for the most part, for 18-22 years old. It should be for throughout life.

And...there are motivated students, too, later in life - many, in fact, but most have to have jobs and family to support themselves, instead of doing really good work internationally!

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