Opinion

School leaders listen and learn – twice

From an editorial in the Fayetteville Observer on Monday:

Everyone sometimes makes ill-advised plans. Accepting constructive criticism and being open to change demonstrate wisdom. That ability to learn is especially encouraging in relation to our education system.

On two different fronts last week, state school officials revised moves in ways that avoided controversy and better served the state’s students.

In one case, the State Board of Education planned to scrap the state’s arbitrary high school grade scale in favor of the 10-point system used in most other states. While the idea is good, the plan to leave out older students and enact the scale only for rising freshmen was unreasonable.

Amid considerable complaints, the board reconsidered and decided all students can begin using the system this fall.

In another case, the Department of Public Instruction was set to recommend a new history curriculum that’s backed by groups with a strong political agenda.

Foundations tied to David and Charles Koch were behind the plan. But controversy over the brothers’ campaign donations drew criticism. The DPI has instead made their materials one of several curriculum packages from which teachers can choose.

In both cases, officials listened, learned and made the right choice.

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