In his guest commentary “Top students forced to hew to a mediocre path” (5:02 p.m., Saturday, July 11, 2009), Christopher Honiball writes:
I have written the following in response to the article in your paper titled “Collier school district working to reduce absences among its top students.”
Dear Collier County School District officials:
Let’s go over what’s been done to Collier County’s top students over the past several years, shall we? You’ve “integrated” gifted classes at the elementary school level. You’ve removed the gifted program at the high school level completely. You changed the schedule against our loud protest to make it extremely challenging to complete an Advanced Placement (AP) course.
You took away gifted counselors, making it extremely difficult to complete a laureate project this year. You have stressed and overloaded our teachers to the point that many of them are no longer able to provide us with a challenging environment to learn in — they are too busy making sure the average student is provided for. You made us take standardized test after standardized test to make sure we were “up to par” or “ready to work,” when in fact we were ready long ago.
You have forced us to sit through lesson after lesson that we already know because everyone else in the class has to learn it, too.
I am tired of being prevented from learning. I am tired of being told that because I am more intelligent than average, I can manage on my own without any help from the school district — yet, when I try to do just that, I am told I have to stay in class and learn with the school district. I am tired of being told by people who are less educated than I what I need to do to get a proper education.
Be glad that we pass your classes without you having to teach us and stop trying to chain us down.
You’re killing the minds of your best students.
Honnibal is a 2009 graduate of Gulf Coast High; he will attend Vanderbilt University.
© 2009 The E.W. Scripps Co.