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Create more equitable neighborhood schools

There is a much more sensible and common-sense approach to fixing the failing high schools in the City of Buffalo. What the state is forcing the city to do is wrong and will lead to additional failures.

The city needs to do away with the honors schools such as City Honors and DaVinci. Instead, re-establish the neighborhood high schools with programs for all levels and abilities of all students, including honors and advanced-placement classes. The suburban schools have done exactly that for years. In the suburbs, the schools provide programs and courses for the weakest of students to the strongest of students and nearly all of these programs and courses are offered under the same roof.

Home Economics and shop offerings need to be reinstated in all of the schools at all levels, kindergarten through 12th grade. Years ago, these were offered in all schools statewide and done away with by the Education Department that felt ALL students were college material and should go to college. All students, regardless of ability, deserve the right to follow a path they want to follow.

Allowing students to transfer from the failing schools to the better-performing schools will only make the poorly performing schools perform even more poorly. With all abilities under the same roof, there will be more role models among the students and there will be more incentives to the poorly performing students to work harder. In the end, all of the city high schools will then have similar results.

Al Heiss

West Seneca