Letter to the Editor: ‘Fair and Balanced Reporting’

To the editor:

The Shakerite’s long-standing history of representing student and staff voices on school, community and national issues is a point of pride. The publication has produced Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists, and the valuable skills of research, reporting and storytelling it provides to our students are lifelong tools.

This is why the March 10, 2023, piece titled “We Did It the Wrong Way” is concerning. The article presented criticisms of the District’s detracking initiative, but telling the story of such transformative change requires fair and balanced reporting. While criticisms and bumps in the road will exist, we firmly believe all students deserve a rigorous, well-rounded, holistic education in heterogeneous classrooms that reflect the diverse community that is Shaker Heights. Instructional supports and professional learning opportunities exist across buildings and grade levels to achieve this goal and to ensure all students are being leveled up in classroom learning. However, the article did not seek out comment or clarification on the supports offered to staff and faculty. Nor did it represent the extensive work being done by administrators and cross-grade level educators presented at the February 27, 2023, Shaker Heights Board of Education work session. These educators described compelling and inspiring inclusive work being done in their classrooms in addition to acknowledging challenges faced along the way.

There is always more work to be done, and detracking addresses disparities in educational outcomes that have been in place for generations. All Shaker Heights Schools faculty and staff should feel empowered to contribute their voices to this work. Reflection and analysis are part of the lifelong learning process, and detracking’s success can only be achieved if stakeholders across the District collaborate toward this common goal.

To that end, we challenge The Shakerite to engage in a balanced reflection of this and other important issues addressed by the publication. We look forward to continued excellence from The Shakerite.

Dr. David Glasner
Superintendent, Shaker Heights Schools

Guest ‘Rites and Letters to the Editor can be sent to [email protected]. The Shakerite reserves the right to reject any Guest ‘Rite or Letter to the Editor.

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