Letters to the Editor 8/25/11
Bybbues abd schools that work
Welcome back, “Life in Hell”! We have missed you. Break a (rabbit) foot!
P.S. Does this mean that rabbits really do return from Hell?
SCHOOLS THAT WORK
Congratulations to Iles School for achieving the prestigious International Baccalaureate status. I am a proud supporter of Iles School because my daughter received the best education of her K-12 District 186 career there. True, there were pockets of excellence at the other schools she attended, but at Iles the entire school pulsates with excellence.
Springfield should be proud to have a school of this caliber and its hands-on, inquiry-based teaching and learning style should be replicated throughout the district. As I write those words, I can already hear the naysayers who relentlessly have discounted and diminished Iles’ achievements because it has “gifted” students. Certainly there are advantages to having 30 exceptionally bright students in a classroom, but be assured there are enormous challenges as well.
It is true that not everything Iles does can happen as successfully at all other schools but it is also true that educational excellence can be achieved with other student populations. It is happening at Lincoln and Ball Charter, at Capital College Preparatory Academy (CCPA), in the District 186/SIU School of Medicine Physicians Pipeline Preparatory Program and at many other schools and in classrooms across the district. For years, I and others have advocated for various types of educational policy reform for District 186, yet definitive, systemic solutions remain elusive.
However, schools like Iles, Lincoln and CCPA are working. As a caring community, it is our responsibility to continue to press for positive results for all students. To do that let us recognize and promote what works and provide the school board and Dr. Milton with the backing and support they need to spread these strategies across the entire district.
In James Krohe’s piece, “Going against the flow” [Aug. 11], he hit on several key points Springfield currently faces on its stormwater issues. I have had the opportunity to hear many sides of this debate by participating in the meetings held studying just this very issue. The sanitary district, local citizens and Crawford, Murphy and Tilly have held an interesting debate of both old and new ideas bringing to mind the most important comment of the article: “More than money, such expedients require more imagination and intelligence – which, admittedly, can be even harder to find in the public sphere than money.”
He did leave one thing out and that is “willingness” to learn a new system and work it out, with city government, commercial and residential property owners to moving away from an antiquated system that no longer fits our current ecosystem. Our nation has faced drastic water events through flooding and drought. Springfield now has the opportunity to begin integrating a new system that both conserves and protects our current water supply. That doesn’t include building another lake.
Excellent article on hazing as it indicates the extent of hazing among various university groups [see GUESTWORK: “Stop bullying on campus,” Aug. 11]. What is the university’s responsibility here? There is little or no evidence as to the effectiveness of hazing educational programs, yet they are used year after year. When are university presidents going to accept responsibility for this illegal and anti-humanistic behavior which is a regular part of campus life? There are policies which can be adopted that would reduce hazing among the Greeks as well as other groups. For effective changes to occur, university presidents need to acknowledge the existence and extent of hazing on their campuses, even though this could slightly tarnish the public images of their institutions.
Howard Robboy, Ph.D.