A report here on state Board of Education dissatisfaction with efforts by the Haas Hall charter schools in Northwest Arkansas to increase efforts to diversify its student body has drawn a response from a parent of a Haas Hall ninth grader in defense of the school.
I found it relevant to the ongoing discussion of how Haas Hall achieves high scores on standardized tests, so I reprint the letter here from Bobby Taylor of Fayetteville:
As a Haas Hall parent I consider my child very fortunate to have access to some of the highly trained faculty at HH. It would be my wish that all students have access to such a high level of training, especially the poor, the immigrants, and regardless of race or ethnic origin. However, it eludes my logical mind to see how the two conditions can co-exist if classes are forced to include students that are low achievers.
In the referenced article HH is apparently being criticized by the AR BOE for a lack of recruitment in the areas mentioned with a desire to have more low achieving students and others included in the HH academic environment. I thought it of note that at the end of the article that concerns were being expressed about a different charter school due to academic problems. (Pine Bluff Lighthouse Charter School. It had been recommended for closure for academic deficiencies in December by an advisory panel. )
No matter how politically correct the BOE gets adding slow or non-English speaking students to a high performing academic class, in ANY school will result in lower achievement levels within that school. Every fair thinking American wants ALL our population to achieve the best possible education possible. Combining high and low level achiervers doesn’t and has never worked! What does work is for the BOE to fund and build special classes/school/academies that cater to lower achieving students. While every variety of student that is capable of high achievement should be allowed into HHA, forcing low achievers into these classes will neutralize the outstanding opportunities for the best students. The low achievers will, in fact, be far better off in classes especially designed to raise their academic powers. But then the BOE would not be politically correct if it built special opportunities for those who need it most.