Letters to the Editor

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TACOMA: Appalling experiment at Jason Lee

Letter by George J. Hollis, Tacoma on March 7, 2011 at 1:29 pm with 7 Comments »
March 7, 2011 2:04 pm

Re: “Jason Lee tries separating 6th-graders to boost achievement” (TNT, 3-6).

I’m appalled as a parent that the Tacoma Public Schools is experimenting with the taxpayers’ dollars. Calling on Dr. Leonard Sax, at the tune of $6,250, is playing with the budget like I play Monopoly with first-graders. I know who’s going to win the game before it even begins.

Sax isn’t the answer. Same-sex classes aren’t either.

First, the solution can easily be addressed by conducting more forums with parents. However, the district is being lazy and taking alternative courses of action that will bring it back to the the same spot it started at.

Second, bringing in experts and authors to talk about an urban concern doesn’t address the concern that is in the community itself. I am not going to listen to some white-collared spin doctor when the school itself isn’t talking to me. All parents of Jason Lee Middle School should be informed about this matter before it is addressed by outside entities.

Lastly, I believe that it is a disadvantage and disservice to separate students along gender lines and then expect that as a society they have to work together in the future. The “let’s try anything” attitude is costly and pointless. The reason for taking this course of action doesn’t warrant or justify the action or solves the problem.

This train (educational reform) is running backwards again, and I don’t think the caboose knows that the conductor isn’t at the helm anymore.

Leave a comment Comments → 7
  1. Guess what, genius? Your parent forums aren’t going to work. You know why? Because the parents of the kids who are failing WON’T SHOW UP! That’s why their kids are failing, because they don’t give a rip to start with. “Make it mandatory,” you say. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha……

  2. cclngthr says:

    The issue should be is how DO males and females communicate. I can tell you they do, not because I know, but based on my own research in communication on the very issue and my observations as a teacher. Male/female communication can be thought of as cross cultural communication. Males say/do things much differently than females do.

    Female communication is built upon a rapport style of communication where everyone is considered equal to each other. Males communicate in a report style of communication and establish a hierarchy of positions where one person is a leader and the other people have a lower status, and no one is at the same status.

    Having that understanding makes student learning better, and sometimes it can be beneficial to have students separated by gender in classrooms. Having spent one year in an all boy class, I see the benefits of it.

  3. whiteriot says:

    DJ George – take note, the school system is broken and needs to be fixed. I find it appalling that you, as a parent, would not appreciate that someone is doing something that is not costing an arm and leg and has the potential to increase the ability for our children to learn.

  4. George try doing some reasearch. You will find that students, as a group, tend to do better in single gender classes. This is especially true for boys. It is good to have a philosophy but dont let your ideology get in the way of progress.

  5. fanciladi says:

    They have toyed with this idea through the years…it works…you’re a guy…so how would you know what a girl feels about it…wish it had been done in the 50’s and I know other many other women wished even earlier than that!

    Speak for yourself…and I’ll speak for me and many other women!

  6. brymarbuch says:

    Personally, I believe separating the genders does help students learn better. I attended an all-female high school and then went to what was basically for me an all-male college. I was one of only three female mechanical engineers that graduated in my class. The only issue that I had trying to work together, as expected by society, was when I was usually addressed as “Mister” on the telephone at my first job, because “society” expected a man to answer engineer questions.

  7. Wonderful letter George. Sax has been called out by name in at least three recent books based on peer-reviewed research for misrepresenting the science for his political agenda. He is a dangerous ideologue. I went to hear Sax give his public talk — he said nothing of substance and there was not one public question or comment allowed from the audience. Appalling. And this is the person who is going to teach our teachers how to teach?

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