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Letter to the Editor: What the sixth grade shift doesn’t say


The “Sixth-Grade Shift Explained” letter by five administrators from Jeffco was interesting for what it did and did “not” tell us.

This “much more consistent model of schooling” has such high costs to all district classrooms. Note the “shift” does little more than get the more successful Elementary School Students on the less performing schools enrollments earlier. The “Sixth Grade Bump” for Middle Schools is well noted in public education for increasing a school’s success. “Three years in Middle School” as stated “allows a student to settle” in before transitioning to high school. Exactly what the “Junior High School” concept did with ninth graders. Yes increased numbers look good but does this “shift” just create more educationally immature students in higher schooling levels like the shift of ninth Graders did last century? Yes middle schools do “provide expanded programming and elective options,” but remember the multitude of budget saving cuts created recently by removal of many middle school programs and electives.

Our present school board is desperately seeking student success increases outside of placing more taxes in our classrooms as this “shift” illustrates. I think the signers of this explanation prove, like most in about 30,000 US School Districts in our Public Educational System, more and higher paid administrative Staff are their key. Maybe sixth graders aren’t too old for elementary? “Career Readiness” is one of two goals in all public education. Wouldn’t grade additions of 13th and 14th be more helpful meeting it for students?

Gary Scofield,


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