January 24, 2010
Dear Members of the Montgomery County School Board -
If the School Board continues to whittle away at the Magnet and International Baccalaureate programs year after year, it has the same effect as laying siege to a fortress. Once a fantastic opportunity for students to really shine not just for themselves, but for the entire school system, these programs are truly in danger of being irreparably harmed. If the best and the brightest kids don't have the opportunity to pursue a strenuous education, they'll simply tune out at school. My son was at one of the most rigorous middle schools in the county, Thomas W. Pyle, yet he never brought home any homework. We'd ask him why, and his response was, "I did it all at school; it's too easy. I'm bored there." When he got the chance to visit the Magnet Program at Blair, meet students there, and get accepted into the program, he was really excited. That excitement hasn't diminished at all after his first semester at Blair. He's challenged, he's learning, and he's excited about school. Perhaps the school system doesn't feel that Mitchell deserves the same challenging quality education that other kids in the county get. If so, I hope you will change MCPS and do whatever is necessary to preserve these programs, not just for Mitchell, but for all kids who simply are not able to learn in a regular classroom environment.
Mark Gross, President