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[Susan notes: Stephen Krashen, as usual, makes a critical point that most others seem to be missing. The hero he refers to was my dad. I grew up hearing about his determination to finish high school--and it never occurred to me that anyone would consider such a delayed graduater anything but heroic.

The four year high school expectation is an assault, intended or not, on the working class.]

Published in Denver Post
12/23/2009

To the editor


"DPS graduation rate higher, but only about half finish on time," (Dec 18) sends the message that those who take longer than four years to finish high school are somehow failures.

Graduating in more than four years often requires perseverance and determination. Many students need to work after school, and a longer stay in high school program makes sense for them. We must allow working students to take a reduced course load or even an occasional leave of absence.

During the depression, the father of a colleague of mine alternated working a year and going to high school a year, because his family needed the money. He was not a failure. He was a hero.

Stephen Krashen


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