It's about education, not competition

Why is the school board looking to disqualify Hillside summer courses? Some claim Hillside gives easy A's, although data and accrediting agencies tell us Hillside provides a quality education and fills a need for alternative instruction, such as smaller class sizes. Families often choose Hillside due to various issues at La Cañada High School, so it’s troubling that the board would consider limiting valid alternatives.

Hillside's accreditation for summer classes has recently been confirmed by Western Association of Schools & Colleges and its courses are University of California-approved. The school board appears to be returning to its stated concern about instructional minutes as a disqualifying reason. The accreditation agencies don't share this concern. Given the way the board cut instructional days, this seems like an odd flag for it to raise.

As soon as Sept. 4, the board could again have an agenda item on whether to continue to accept Hillside summer courses for graduation credit. The board has the power to remove Hillside as an alternative. Why would it do that?

Hillside is not, nor should it be viewed as, competition with the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation’s summer school, financially or otherwise. We have students to educate and that is our mandate, first and only. Some students do better in one environment while others do better in another, it’s not one-size-fits-all. It is our duty to educate. As such, it’s our duty to offer many avenues to reach and engage as many students as possible. If the alternatives meet the same standards, how can there be a discussion. It really can be as simple as that.

Rather than micro-managing Hillside, urge school board members to accept accredited alternatives.

Ernest Koeppen
La Cañada Flintridge

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