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With one daughter heading off to college this fall and two others preparing, I read the two op-eds about education in the May 6 Viewpoints section with great interest.
Both op-eds ["America's future: Is it at risk?" and "Do the right things; avoid the fads"] discuss some very basic concepts for improving schools.
It was with great comfort I have learned that at least one school in the area is already employing the techniques listed. My children are at Fredericksburg Academy. I didn't see a single concept listed in which FA does not excel.
1. Create leaders: Fredericksburg Academy fosters the concept of leadership with formal programs and a senior project program that promote the concept.
2. Create students who maintain consistently high standards: FA students are held to exceptionally high standards.
3. Hold students accountable: The environment at FA has created students who consistently police themselves and hold one another accountable.
4. Maintain an exceptional, motivated, and energetic faculty: The faculty at FA is exceptional.
5. Create an environment where students and teachers communicate openly: At FA the faculty is not distant or "feared."
While many fear the price tag of the independent school education, one need only look at the results to realize it is an investment that will pay off financially in the short run and for your children in the long run. It is not uncommon for FA students to receive merit scholarships that exceed the cost of FA tuition.
In the long term, I am confident that my children are better people because of the inclusive, high-achieving, and demanding environment of which they are a part.
I am happy to be in a community that can support the local public and private schools the way Fredericksburg does.