In this March 31, 2017, file photo, a fifth-grade student shows his geometry work to a teacher at Columbus Elementary School in Columbus, New Mexico. Credit: Rodrigo Abd / AP

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Ian Mette’s Jan. 4 opinion piece regarding improving education is not without difficulties. Mette makes several major points, dots if you will, but is unable to connect them into a cohesive whole.

I have been studying and collecting such articles for more than 15 years, mostly due to 30-plus years as an educator, as an educational researcher and now principally as an author. I see his article as typical, especially in the call for “meeting children where they are.” Perhaps as many as 30 articles that I have reviewed made this call. Yet none of these authors even attempted to explain how this is done. Just off the top of my head, considering my experience in serving at-risk students and my research, I can list at least 10 components to answering this call.

Hampering Mette in this task is his entrapment by the inflammatory term “labeling.” Working with colleagues, usinging scientifically validated methodologies, we meaningfully (in terms of effective programming) met each student where they were. We identified the issues they were facing. This isn’t “labeling.”

Were Mette aware of any of this, I think he certainly would have made mention of it. Lacking as it is, I believe Mette’s opinion acts as an impediment to progress in its typicality and is not well met.

Keith Dunson