An Ohio school needs to keep its Latin program, but it's on the chopping block for Monday, July 16, 2012. What can you do? Contact superintendent, Mr. Joseph Chaddock, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is my letter, feel free to elaborate:
Dear Mr. Chaddock,
I am writing in response to the news that you are considering dropping Latin from your schedule of courses. I have taught Latin at Indian Hill Middle School for 18 years, and have the benefit of perspective. Students who were in my classes in 1993-4 are now attorneys, medical researchers, writers and college professors. They write to me telling me how pivotal Latin was, and is, in their success in life.
Yes, I’ve looked at your five year forecast at http://fyf.oecn.k12.oh.us/genForecast.asp?IRN=49890&Format=HTML , and yes, I understand that the loss of income in tax revenues (and other funding sources) is deeply cutting into school budgets. The pressure districts in Ohio are feeling is causing decisions to be made based upon business strategies and not on sound educational strategies. I’m hoping that the educator in you is going to be fighting to keep Latin because it benefits the student and increases student achievement. When you have a strong teacher and a valuable program, dropping it does not make sense.
If your treasurer and board need statistics, then we can supply them with studies, through the National Junior Classical League and the American Classical League, showing that the study of Latin increases a student’s ability to think critically, increasing performance on the S.A.T. http://www.promotelatin.org/images/stories/pdf/MiddleSchool/SATUpdatesfor2011.pdf. If you need other statistics addressing subgroups, closing literacy gaps or data addressing how Latin helps students develop 21st century skills, we can give you that too. Tell me what you need to save this program, and I’ll give you the research.
In closing, it is my belief that I would be committing educational malpractice if I did not give every student the best opportunity to achieve her/his full potential. Latin is a route to that achievement, and I cannot sit back and allow a program to be eliminated when I know how valuable it is to even one student’s future. And if you have more than one, perhaps 40, it’s a community that is impacted by that value.
Sincerely in the service of classical education,
Andrea J. Weis