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Mailbag: Readers respond to 'School Flight' series

September 10, 2011

Two are now educators, including my daughter Dana, who teaches AP English at Costa Mesa High School. Interestingly, her husband, Scott, teaches history at Estancia. Clearly, attending their neighborhood schools had a very positive effect on my daughters, and I suggest that doing the same would benefit other Mesa Verde families who are trying to decide which schools their kids should attend.

My bona fides now established, let's address a question unasked by Reicher: What sort of change do you suppose Adams, TeWinkle and Estancia would undergo if Mesa Verde families didn't choose to ship 500 of their kids to Huntington Beach and another 500-plus to other N-MUSD schools?

I submit that the addition of more than 1,000 of our neighborhood children to our neighborhood schools would have an immediate and materially beneficial effect on the makeup of those schools. Doing so would provide an immediate boost to school test scores, serve to smooth out ethnic percentages for those who are concerned about such things, enrich the kids' educational experiences, enable neighborhood children to attend school with their lifelong friends, and prove to be a more efficient use of scarce and expensive educational resources.

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I submit further that choosing to send one's child to another school or another city because of a perceived problem that might occur, but is not occurring, can prove to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Choosing your child's school based on fears or rumors or unfounded perceptions perpetuates a negative stereotype and sacrifices the opportunity for your kids to experience the wonderful educational experiences awaiting them just down the street at our great neighborhood schools.

Visit these schools. Make an appointment to talk with the principals and the teachers. They'll be glad to meet with you. Then ask the kids attending them what they think. Ask the parent who chose a local school for their kids what his or her experiences have been, and then decide based on the facts as presented.

I think you may elect to take advantage of what your local schools have to offer. For your sake and that of your kids, I certainly hope so.

Chuck Cassity

Costa Mesa

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Diversity helped her grandkids

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