Editor: The Sun Gazette’s May 26 article [“Is APS’s Achievement Gap an Unfixable Problem?”] overlooks an important point.
There is one school in Arlington that does not have, nor has it ever had, an achievement gap.
The majority of the students are minorities. Many come from challenging socio-economic backgrounds. In spite of this, the school has regularly garnered statewide and national attention for excellence. It is recognized as a special place worthy of study and emulation by everyone – everyone except Arlington Public Schools and the School Board.
It is, of course, Arlington Traditonal School.
A school system that will fight tooth and nail, and spend millions, to protect H-B Woodlawn’s “program” sees a program of traditional education as a threat to its progressive values. For years, APS has whittled away at this program’s essential elements to pound down the nail that sticks out.
Senior APS staff and School Board members won’t even visit Arlington Traditional or make an effort to learn about it. Now that the principal is retiring, APS will finally succeed in making the exceptional average.
Minority children thrive in one Arlington school. If one truly cared about them, wouldn’t it be worth the effort to determine why this is the case, and try to replicate it in other schools?
The answer to the Sun Gazette’s question is that this problem is not unfixable – if the system truly cared about fixing it.
Michael Driggs, Arlington