Keep school focus on basics

Re: “Magnet school ideas heard” (B-1, Dec. 6)

I agree with Laura Boord, the special ed teacher who advocated for Lee High to teach problem solving and thinking skills and “not get too married to training for careers in an ever-changing job market.”

While I applaud the leadership of the East Baton Rouge Parish schools for wanting to introduce new programs to attract students to our public schools, I also cling to the stubborn belief that the most meaningful education a high school student can have is a foundation in the “boring” basics — strong reading and writing skills and critical thinking. Yes, learning about filmmaking, aerospace, culinary arts etc. can be enhancements, but the basics seem to have often been sacrificed in the quest to make students “happy.”

Twenty-one percent of Louisiana adult residents have a college degree; that means that the majority of high school graduates will not attend or will drop out of college without finishing. That said, high school, then, becomes the best hope to prepare students for “the world” — but not just the world as it is, out the door, today …

Mary Ann Sternbergs

freelance writer

Baton Rouge