Busy Night

Big meetings tonight:

I don't have time to write all that I want to say aboust these right now, but I'll try to post an update later...



Any idea how they were going to fit all those students into the cafeterias at one lunch? It was my understanding that that was not possible.


Pederson said that was a challenge--but not an insurmountable one, and NOT a good reason to refuse to close lunch. Actually--the kids don't all eat lunch in the cafeteria NOW. At East, anyways, they eat in the halls, classrooms (that's where the clubs meet)---out onthe hill...lot's of places. Technically the ONLY kids who are SUPPOSED to be able to leave are Seniors and Juniors good academic standing who have completed a certain percentage of their Service hours...so I'm not certainhowmany EXTRA kids this means.

The campuses were opened for Juniors and Seniors years ago when there was only one MASSIVELY overcrowded HS. When they built East the Juniors and Seniors there were given an open lunch because otherwise "it wouldn't be fair."

I'm not certain WHY they didn't just close BOTH campuses---


The high school reforms are covered in today's (sundays) chapel hill news. Does not mention lunch, I don't think, but there was a lot of discussion about the cultural arts elective and whether or not we need it.

by the way, there was another article a few days ago in the daily tarheel which mentioned Fairfax County North Carolina and its high SAT scores. (higher than here). Anyone know where that county is?

It's in VA. Wealthy DC suburb. There is NO "Fairfax County NC"--as evidenced by the list of ALL NC counties at this site:


Fairfax VA's average score of 1096 for 2003 (per their school website.)

Scores for the graduating classes of 2003 At CHH and East:

The average score for Chapel Hill High School was 1175 with 90.5 percent of seniors taking the test, and the average score for East Chapel Hill High was 1181 with 93.1 percent of seniors taking the test.

East Chapel Hill and Chapel Hill High Schools ranked 1 and 2 in the state for SAT scores (1181 and 1175, respectively) in 2002-2003.

SLF--I went to the DTH's website and couldn't find anything with their search engine that resembles the statistics you are quoting. There isn't a public school system in this state with higher SAT's. So I don't know what you read--but it wasn't what you POSTED. And I spent more time than I care to admit hunting for your source.

As to HSR--they are talking about allowing kids to do a YEAR of EITHER "work force development" OR Cultural arts--instead of a single semester of EACH. For some kids cultural arts would be more useful, for others WFD.

Melanie See

"HEADS UP PEOPLE WITH CHILDREN IN ELEMENTARY AND MS. This will effect and affect your children's HS education FAR MORE than merger . . . if you've got someone in MS or below now--this will be your child's HS career." (Melanie See)

Amen, Melanie.

Never forget that education and politics are inextricably linked. There is that saying, "Do politics or politics will do you." It's the same for education.

See ya at the meetings.

Tracy--you will be pleased to know that the final plan called for a closed campus AND a single lunch. And that most of the adults at the session that I attended thought this was a good idea.

Savant--well you won't see me at any of the INFORMATIONAL meetins--I've been to one, and I REALLY don't want people reading their power point slides to me AGAIN. However--when they get to the point where they have definite recc's and want parental input--I'll be there. Even though MY kid will have graduated before 90% of WHATEVER gets implemented.


Mark wants to know:

"What do folks make of the fact that only a handful of people came out to hear about high school reforms last night? Usually, when it comes to schools, people come out in droves (i.e. merger, impact fees, etc.). What is different about this issue?"

My experience is that when parents come out and listen to meetings about academics, they will then make comments. They may gather 1000 or more signatures on a petition. These comments and petitions are then ignored.

So why waste time going to the meetings?

Oh, I dunno, at an informational meeting (which this was) you might LEARN something?



Thanks for trying to answer my question but the link just seems to go to a generic explanation of differentiation at the Smith. I am afraid that does not answer the question at all as it is not one of the schools which is supposed to be making this transition. It also gives the well worn explanation of grouping that is not in compliance with the State approved plan and therefore in violation of state law, never mind just plain common sense. The range of ability and needs within the "gifted" group are quite extraordinary. According to the State approved gifted plan, the schools are required to provide grouping that addresses the separate needs of the "many", the "some" and the "few" . I will easily grant that random assignment will end up with an accidental cluster of the "many". I am afraid the "some" and the "few" require more conscious thought. Failure to recognize that the needs of a child able to work a year or two ahead of the class has little overlap with one able to work four or five years ahead, is a failure of the system to respect the children.

The percent gifted identified is a tough one because while huge numbers are identified here the truth is that 60% or so (according to Dr. Tomlinson) would be considered gifted in almost any other district. I think the issue is that the population is scewed that actually helping the children requires recognizing different needs within the population of gifted students. That would allow policy to be targeted more rationally.


"One does, however, need to learn to deal with other kinds of minds eventually."

I am literally dumbfounded by that statement everytime I hear it or read it. It is so extraordinarily inaccurate for the vast majority of Tier 1 students. Learning to deal with other minds is pretty much the ONLY skill they learn at school from preschool to third grade. They arrive at school able to work years ahead. They sit around coping with the boredom and the lack of respect from the age of five or younger. Most are experts, especially the girls, at hiding who they are. They have enough skill in fitting in with other children to last them a lifetime. They know how to avoid drawing attention to themselves with questions that are too advanced for the class. They know how to keep their conversation and vocabulary at the level around them. These children live in neighborhoods where most or all of their friends are "other types of children". Most of them live in families with 'other types of children". THAT is the one skill they do not need more of.

The experience they have not had is hearing other children ask the questions they have been dying to ask. They don't know what it is like to sit in class and actually learn from other children. In other words, they have not experienced in school education . As it is now, they go to middle school and slip straight back into pretending they are someone else and blending in. I have heard Board members and adminstration members offer this rationalization for not teaching the children and it is just one more statement that shows they do not know who these children are.

HS Reform-

I did not attend the first two meetings, but did serve on one of the committees and put a great deal of time into gathering parent feedback by writing a detailed report, posting it online and asking every school listerv that I could find to send out an announcement asking for feedback. (I actually put far more work into real efforts to affect change than bulletin board posting, but this serves a purpose too) I then responded to every question as best I could and compiled all the responses. The off campus lunch question generated stronger opinions that anything else. Most wanted to keep it because closing campus requires a split lunch. A split lunch would eliminate lunch time activities, test make-ups and tutoring for many students. The teachers were very against split lunch. The committee downgraded any proposal with split lunch. I have no opinion on this as I have no first hand knowledge of it, but I will be intersted to hear how that problem was solved. You can still see that report at


It is the most visited post on the site - significantly outdrawing the school board candidate forum.


Just an FYI - they are predicting another possible icestorm...

What do folks make of the fact that only a handful of people came out to hear about high school reforms last night? Usually, when it comes to schools, people come out in droves (i.e. merger, impact fees, etc.). What is different about this issue?


Oh, I can answer that one Mark. What the article doesn't really mention is that this is one of a SERIES of presentations THAT ARE ALL IDENTICAL. SO--if you went to the FIRST one (Which was at East the night before the snowstorm) there was no need to attend any of the others. (WHich is why one parent got up and left--you REALLY don't want to sit through a Powerpoint presentation twice.)There are several more yet to come--perhaps people had other things to do last night (wasn't Carolina playing?) and plan to ttend other meetings.

The meeting at East WAS relatively well attended. I was there. Actually--these aren't question and answer type meetings--though they did take a series of questions at the end of the presentation, and everything IN the presentation was in the handout they gave out--which I'm sure can be obtained form the CHCCS website...or from the HS.

Another thought--I think people got so caught up in the merger hysteria and the angst about the elimination of the Advanced LA classes at the Middle Schols that they've quit paying attention.

HEADS UP PEOPLE WITH CHILDREN IN ELEMENTARY AND MS. This will effect and affect your children's HS education FAR MORE than merger--OR the elimination of those "advanced LA" classes. I am quite pleased with most of the proposals--particularly the proposal to close campus at lunch to all but seniors. And the scheduling proposals are all ones I could live with...but others may have differing opinions. SO GO EDUCATE YOURSELVES. My kid will be a senior before most of this takes place--but if you've got someone in MS or below now--this will be your child's HS career.

And that, Mark, is what I think went on!


"Usually, both the student and teacher have indicated a level of frustration with meeting the student's needs both academically and socially in a regular classroom setting; and the school and the family feel the student could benefit from all-day grouping with students requiring similar interventions."

(This is language on the criteria for the Glenwood program courtesy of Melanie Sea)

This language is a creature of the administration. It almost gives the impression that these children are pathological ("requiring interventions"). For the most part, they are quite normal and well-adjusted. They need this program largely because their academic needs are not being met. They are not misfits or freaks who can't fit in socially. The activities they do outside of school are completely typical.

"I will not deny that there are children in this system that meet those criteria. One does, however, need to learn to deal with other kinds of minds eventually. Hence the elimination of the self-contained program at Culbreth."

(This ia a comment by Melanie See)

My own child has plenty of opportunities to "deal with other kinds of minds" now -- church, scouting, friends from his old school. We have that covered. I'm glad that the schools are concerned about my child's moral, emotional, and social development and if he gets a nutritious breakfast and lunch. But, first and foremost, we want the schools to provide an EDUCATION.

Tracy Burger poses an excellent question when she asks the following:

"Can anyone offer a defense for the fact that his administration said last spring that clustering was central to successful differentiation and that when it was not implemented appropriately this year, his administration refused to take responsibility for it. They refuse even to provide written guidelines to the principals who have to do the clustering.

Why is this?"

The answer is available for world-wide viewing at the following link: http://www.chccs.k12.nc.us/smith/dep/Commonly%20Asked%20Questions%20Ab.htm

Q: How are students grouped for instruction at Smith Middle School?

A. We are also sensitive to the need for grouping students with regard to like characteristics. . . . . . Because we have a large population of identified gifted students, almost any heterogeneous classroom will have a cluster of 3 to 9 such students.

Sadly, CHCCS does understand the meaning of the word “gifted” and they inflate the numbers of “gifted”, rendering the entire subject meaningless. This is what leads the district to the absurd notion that they can rely upon randomness for the creation of gifted clusters. I am surprised they publish this for viewing!

"It would seem that there would be in CHCCS quite a large and growing need for more programs like that which Savant is talking about."

Luke SkyWriter is correct. It might sound like civic arrogance, but we do have a very unique group of people here. There is no reason that the educational offerings should not fit our population. If we lived in Siler City, I would hope our BOE would realize that we had a growing Latino population and adjust accordingly. The AG population here has been estimated to be from 30-35%. But, even if it were only one-half that, these children deserve to be challenged and should not be written off because we assume they will "turn out okay." Of course they will turn out okay, but it is not our place to frustrate their ambitions and place an artificial ceiling over their heads. Every child regardless of his/her level of academic readiness has a next step to take. We shouldn't tell some children to stop walking and lie down.

Ah, the esteemed and honorable Dr. Comment! I had forgotten that we have to pick a bone...... Perhaps you will not take insult if I call you Dr? as I do not know whether to address you as Ms. or Mr.

You seem to think that we have a disagreement, but let me assure you that I have simply failed to make myself crystal clear. You are so right about unrealistic expectations of school responsibility. However, I believe that I do not ask so much. I ask only that the school provide good solid instruction to all of the little children. I am disheartened when I look at the NC Standard Course of Study, which I believe we can call " the curriculum". There is so very little in it. Put more in the curriculum, expect more in the schools from every child, and you solve quite a few problems. The children who can't get a good education at home will get one at school. And the children who can get plenty of help at home will not be unenthusiastic in the schoolhouse.

Dr. Comment shared with us the following, and I appreciate his comments: I was mostly ranting at Ruperto at that moment. In the end, I think you have some different expectations than I do about what our public schools should achieve. I also think that many posters on this list have very unrealistic expectations about school responsibility v. parent responsibility. Don't mena to sound like some kind of Republican here, but . . .

Sorry QC,

My decision to reference Dr. Pedersen on a regular basis was a conscious one based on the realization that I was constantly referring to the district as if it existed as a thinking entity. Eventually I remembered that even though he works very hard not to be where the heat is focused, he is the superintendent. He is responsible for the successes and failures of major policy initiatives and for setting the tone within our district. As I believe that both of these are seriously deficient, I will continue to remind everyone that it IS his adminstration. If you like what is happening, he should get the credit. If you do not, then the responsibility is his. He was hired as an adminstrator, not as a next door neighbor.

You see, if we leave behind the question of should we or shouldn't we dismantle gifted education and just look at where we are, his deficits in leadership become all too clear. Read Dr. Carol Tomlinson's book Leadership for Differentiating Schools and Classrooms. Dr. Tomlinson is the district consultant in differentiation so I am not saying go read someone I like who contradicts district policy. She writes at length about the amount of work required to plan this type of transition. She writes about the absolute necessity of engaging the teachers in the process and beginning with a program of volunteer teachers who then become resources for their schools. It is an entire book written by the district consultant on how a district should implement exactly the program our district has chosen, differentiated instruction in heterogeneous classrooms. WE did not do anything in that book. The result is that we do not have differntiated instruction. We have differentiated homework and the long discredited teaching to the middle.

Can anyone offer a defense for the fact that his adminstration said last spring that clustering was central to successful differentiation and that when it was not implemented appropriately this year, his adminstration refused to take responsibility for it. They refuse even to provide written guidelines to the principals who have to do the clustering. Why is this?

Then I would add that he has failed to provide the vision required to bring our district together on these issues. There is middle ground. There are third paths. Instead of finding one of those ways, he has chosen to foster division that will only damage our district.

These are assessments of Dr. Pedersen's job performance, not whether he is a nice guy as a friend. On a more limited note, my interactions with him have been ones where his ability to show compassion or empathy for children was not anywhere in evidence.


Oh and I do not know if Mr. K felt that I was being unrealistic about what the district is able to do, but I don't think so. I have seen two places where I believe the district does a superior job. I am quite certain that it can do better than it is. From all that I hear, Dr. Pedersen's adminstration has done a better job at McDougle Middle than they are doing at Culbreth, so I believe the evidence that they could do better, if they cared to, is immediately evident. Mind, I do not actually want a replication of McDougle as the evidence I have seen does not support the district claims, but if that is what they are doing then they should actually do it, not just order it and walk away.

Melanie and others,

I just put data out there instead of anecdote so people can see. If you wish to explain it away as child and parent pathology I can't argue and do not want to. I have no evidence either way. You are entitled to believe that or that your informal survey should carry more weight for you. I prefer data.

So I am still not clear how the change is supposed to help minority children. No one has answered that one yet. It seems to me that we need to use real data and real evaluations of what works and doesn't work, but that is just my opinion for how a district should be run. Are we supposed to see an improvement in EOG scores for minority students at those schools this year? How do we decide if this worked or not? As far as I know there is no evaluation actually planned. I am on the enrichment team and we just got a message that we should START thinking about how we might evaluate the changes. Good question but a little late only days after the vote.

It is my position that it was not responsible to vote a year before necessary when it was before evaluations could be done. It required no change in plans to say lets look at what happened. Am I the only one who thinks that major changes like this should be comprehensively evaluated? The next phase could have gone on exactly as scheduled but we could have begun more comprehensive planning. The vote could have included information on what will constitute gifted services. 40% of our children qualify and right now there are no services. I do not think it is reasonable to decide how to educate our children by which promise we like.

I want the gap actually closed and not by holding down the performance of AG students. And no that is not just a fear. That is exactly what the chart sent to the Board for approval last March said. The first version said the scores of all the high performing groups would decline. The final changed it to they would score "at least" the written number. Groups that currently score in the top in the state may drop performance significantly. The board rejected the proposal, but what does it say about Dr. Pedersen and his administration that they proposed it in the first place? Their proposal eliminated the gap by raising scores in some categories and lowering others.

But don’t take my word for it. You can see the chart with projected changes in performance at:


I wonder how many minority parents think it acceptable to consider the gap closed at a lower level than white children now perform? I am not fond of lowered standards. It certainly is not in keeping with the recommendations of the Blue ribbon task force but then neither is eliminating advanced classes. Their report wanted more minority students in those classes. So why are going against the blue ribbon task force?

I think these are all valid questions that honestly leave me looking at the wall asking what IS the reason?

I also have friends at Phillips. One has a daughter who sits in the back of the math class with a few other children teaching themselves because the teacher has had the courage to admit that she cannot do what is being asked. Another has (an African American parent) has had to fight to get gifted identification for her son since she moved here. Unfortunately, she has now realized that that was a somewhat purposeless battle as there are NO SERVICES. Nothing changes because of the identification.

No, this is not the end of the world or the end of education. It is just one more step as Dr. Pedersen's administration and the BOE continue their process of dismantling gifted education at every level possible. If that was the only change we could probably figure out something to be done. A quick look at the district state approved gifted plan shows different options that could be implemented, including:

block grouping by subject - which is not block scheduling - it is blocking some course time and "students will be assigned to a block group based on teacher recommendation as well as their end-of-grade test proficiency, performance and/or subject pre-tests."

Enrichment clusters based on interest for the level II children - defined as "the many" and advanced enrichment clusters for the "some and the "few"




"special electives eg.debate journalism"

Unfortunately nothing designed to meet these children's educational needs was put in place or is planned. All service in supposed to be in the classroom – where we already established that only a few teachers had been adequately trained to actually differentiate instruction, not just homework. We established that most children are not clustered and those who are NEVER work as a group by teacher consensus decision. The vote did not discuss or address any of this.

No it is not the end of everything to cancel advanced classes – at least it did not have to be, but as Dr. Pedersen and his administration have not chosen to address any of these problems and even refuse to give written guidelines on clustering it has become the end of the only semi-service that still existed. I do not believe that these statements describe McDougle. It was even possible to plan to replicate all the wheels McDougle has already invented. When I asked Ms Faley why all the McDougle differentiated education plans had not been made available to the to older schools she said she thought that was a good idea. I do to. So why didn’t the administration do that? That is what I mean by even the most basic planning did not happen for this transition. I find the reality of what happened very very disturbing. The children live in the reality, not the promise of what might have been. I do not believe it is responsible to expand a program that was so poorly started – at least not until you can address the problems, train the teachers, plan the complementary programming and establish what the criteria of success and failure are. I consider that common sense.

Is it wrong to want planning, accountability and training?

Is it wrong to say that the program should not be expanded unless these are done?

It is not as much about the class itself - although that matters. It is about how Dr. Pedersen runs the district. It is about reality versus claims. It is about planning versus using children as weapons. It is about a district that accepts responsibility for its actions. It is about not lowering expectations for anyone.

These questions challenge Dr. Pedersen and the BOE - not the right of minority students to a comprehensive and engaging education. I for one want explanations not just rhetoric and simplistic promises that canceling a type of class actually addresses the gap. I don't see the evidence and I want more than promises.

In other words, I do not consider this to have been a simple vote between advanced classes and differentiated instruction. It was a premature vote between advanced classes and a poorly planned and implemented class structure that is largely teaching to the middle.


I don't usually find myself agreeing with Marc M., but the 50 posts in this thread, every one of them, together form a pretty persuasive argument for home schooling or private schooling, no matter what your child's innate talents are. (I'm a product of public schools, and the son of a woman who spent her life teaching in public schools -- including at Durham High in 1965, when the old guard used to grade the papers of black kids with gloves -- and so the fact that I just wrote that last sentence makes me want to gag.) I'm sure this wasn't the intention.

I'm a new parent, and I sure as hell don't relish the idea of participating on a school committee, or attending my child's athletic events or other extracurriculars, in this atmosphere. The prospect of meeting any of you at a school function frightens me. I'd be afraid you'd be unable to resist sizing up my child to decide whether she's being irreparably damaged by being held back or left behind, and whether she's the beneficiary of white male privilege or not. Like almost all 5-week-olds, she doesn't talk, she sleeps a lot, she cries sometimes, and she can't roll over, but even so I'm unwilling to have her cubbyholed by any of you, whether it's to differentiate her or track her.

The name calling has been disgusting, the rhetorical flourishes so shopworn and hollow it's a wonder they haven't already crumbled to dust, and the blindered refusal to seek new solutions based in fact rather than comfortable supposition is inexcusable in anyone who purports to be concerned about education. The fact that both sides, after all these years, have failed to find common ground -- the fact that there are two "sides" at all -- is a failure of everyone, not matter what your good intentions have been. A pox on both your houses.

I polled (not scientifically, i will admit) several people who have had more than one kid go through the Phillips system. General consensus was that "advanced" "non/advanced" didn't make all that much difference to the educatin THEIR kids had received--IT ALL CAME DOWN TO THE TEACHER.

I talked to one mom who has a 6th grader at Phillips this year--she said they grouped the kids by ability after the year started anyway--so what did it matter what the class was CALLED?

As to the kids form Phillips and Culbreth taking more AP's--what years were those studies from? Culbreth used to hold the self-contained program. A rather self-selecting group, no? And as to Phillips--well that USED to be "East Chapel Hill Middle High" and there is a myth over here at East that if you don't take at least 6 AP's "you can't get into a decent school." Kids who take More AP's naturally have higher GPA's--the AP's are SERIOULSY weighted. (6 points..) If youhave a kid in Band it hurts their class rank. (Ridiculous, but there it is.) Maybe the parents over at McDougle and Smith are a little saner? I'm not trying to be inflamatory--but I just don't see the elimination of the program as the END OF THE WORLD. And I wouldn't have if my kid was at Phillips this year. And trust me people, He ISN'T "Parentally Identified Gifted."


'My children are so damn superior they couldn't possibly be put in classes with your ordinary children.' Have I got your argument right? And Eric Muller thinks the NAACP and Gloria Faley are the ones who are turning this into a racial issue?

I would have thought that a Law Professor would understand this issue better than most people, but Crim Pro has no racial nuances to it, so I'm sure that is why you don't get it. [That's sarcasm for those of you who didn't make it into Advanced Language Arts 7.]

As for Muller's [false] attack on you, Gloria, I don't suppose that we should expect any better after his treatment of Cam Hill on this site.

I looked up the EOG's for MCD mid and Culbreth from last year

I will write them in a mcd/GC format

Ec dis is economically disadvantaged


White >95%/>95%

Black 74%/79%

Ec dis 67.9%/74%


White >95%/>95%

Black 75.3/85.2

Ec dis 70.5/79.2

Scores vary from year to year, but the reading gap of 10-15% versus 20-25% is not trivial.

Which brings us back to the question of why reality seems to play no role in these decisions. I don't get how replicating Mcdougle's education style helps minority students. I know they keep saying it will but where is the actual data?

Just to add to the data, I have also read the analysis done to cancel Tier 1 in middle school. While it is downplayed in the report, McDougle students took fewer honors and AP courses and had lower GPA's than Culbreth or Phillips all three years that were studied.

The EOG data that is getting cited here can be found at:


This site gives EOG math and reading info broken down by a range of demographics.

Since my name has come very often in this thread. I thought that I would stated exactly my comments at the board meeting. I said:

"The board instituted 3 years a series of workshops on equity training. Board members to bus drivers have attend these workshops held by Mr. Singleton. These workshops were a time and place to open one's heart, open one's mind, and open one's soul. It was not a time to defend white, male privedge. It was time to understand the heartache faced by humans when they face discrimination."

You can get a copy of the audio tape of those comments, if you don't believe. I never mentioned Mr. Kelley.

I find it odd that folks (who have attacked me before, attack me still) have connected my comments to Mike Kelley.

Many of these folks stood at the polls and stated falsely "Ms Faley will take money away from white children and give it to black children".

I have worked long hours and hard to provide a good education for ALL children (high school reform, curriculum management, better nutrition, anti-bullying, better public transportation, healthier building, minority student achievement... to name a few). I do this work and I will cotinue to do this work. I do so because I have gotten to know several hundred children. Children who inspire me. Children whom I have come to love.

Peace, friends. Peace and honesty is still out there.

Here's a good summary of what I could find on the Raven test:


Mary Ruth Coleman is one of the FPG Institute researchers.


A child who is homeschooled is NOT IN THE SYSTEM. WOuld you also want kids who attend DA to be able to play on public schoool teams? Or Friends school? Maybe they SHOULD be allowed to do so. It is my understanding that this is a STATE rule. I will own that the CHCCS is not perfect. (There is n't a school on the EARTH that is perfect.) I was merely pointing out that there are choices to be made, and we must be realistic about them. I chose to send my kids to public school. It is therefor UP TO ME tomake certain that they don't get "lost" as you put it. Others CHOOSE to Homeschool. Surely they understand that this keeps some of the opportunities of public school form them?

Sorry if it struck you as defensive, it wasn't.

Another thought--if kids are allowed to choose which teams they try out for (as one would assume the case might be if one needn't be ENROLLED in a given school to play) how would that work? Chapel Hill High has the better football team--so if you want a football scholarship go there--East has a better girls Lacrosse team..etc? (I don't know if ANY ofhtis is true--just tossing out random examples...)

CHH is perceived to do a better job with musicals--should the East kids get to ty out? This could go on Ad nauseum....

Anybody else have an opinion? Y'all know where Mark and I stand on this one!



I would add after re-reading your post, that - using your brusque "make-yer-choices & take yer licks" perspective - getting lost in a large institution such as the public school system could also be considered the price one pays for choosing to enroll such a sytem.




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