To the Editor:
In the 1980s, I was a student in the Accelerated Learning Activities Program (ALAP) in Warwick, and my daughter has been in the program for the last two years. While I appreciate the attention that the ALAP teachers have given to me and my daughter, I also view the elimination of ALAP funding in the 2013-14 school department budget as a breath of fresh air. Frankly, ALAP was in the 1980s, and has remained little more than a token gesture of the school department to accommodate the special needs of its higher-performing students. Now, with the elimination of ALAP, the school department cannot hide behind that token gesture – it is now crystal-clear that the school department offers absolutely no additional program for its higher-performing elementary students.
Whether that failure of Warwick Public Schools is legal or not might be debated, but, in fact, it has been the case for decades that the school department derogates from its responsibility to its higher-performing students. The elimination of ALAP is a healthy exposure of what has always been true. It is disappointing but inevitable, given those currently in charge, that our school committee and administration prefer to purchase new vehicles and provide administrators with raises, rather than invest in substantive programs for students at all levels of performance.
George W. Shuster Jr.