Thank you for your ongoing coverage of the high-ability program changes under consideration by Carmel Clay Schools. I am a father of two such kids in Carmel and, like hundreds of other parents, I have serious concerns about the new classroom model that has been proposed. The recent article authored by Ann Marie Shambaugh (“Parents unite against high-ability program changes”) was thoughtfully written and truly reflective of the concerns being expressed.
Having reviewed the Total School Cluster Grouping program information available through the CCS website, I am in disbelief that this new model is being sold as a means of “reducing the range of achievement levels in each classroom.” For the high-ability kids, who are currently grouped into high-ability classrooms and taught by dedicated high-ability teachers, how can this possibly be true?
I have yet to meet a parent in Carmel that is opposed to high standards and a rigorous curriculum for all students, regardless of ability level. I also believe that reducing the academic achievement gap between kids who are labeled high-ability and those that aren’t is a worthy goal. However, doing so at the expense of the high-ability program strikes me as contrary to the stated mission of CCS – which is to “provide opportunities for all students to realize their potential.” Surely, we can all agree that kids with disabilities and special needs are deserving of teachers, curriculum and a classroom structure that will fulfill this mission. Why should kids labeled ‘high-ability’ be treated any differently?
Thanks again for your coverage of this very important issue.
David Hall, Carmel