President Trump, as a retired public school teacher, I implore you and all members of Congress to stop the verbal wars and political gridlock. What our country needs now are viable ideas and solutions anchored in the acronym of H.O.P.E” — Healing Our Public Education.

Here is a real way out of this dilemma, backed by data, for closing both the achievement and income gap in students enrolled in our public schools throughout America, especially among students of color and those living in poverty. Mr. President, starting with inner city Baltimore schools, you can bring an end to “the disgusting rat- and rodent-infested disparity” found in all of our nation’s cities by simply funding and implementing this skilled-based approach to our public educational system that supplies every student seated in classrooms across America with “Mirrors of H.O.P.E.”

Beginning as early as middle school, a Mirrors of H.O.P.E’s skills-based approach requires that every student enrolled in our public schools (special-need students included) be given the best, most accurate aptitude test designed specifically to:

• identify a student's unique personality, natural talents and strengths;

• assist the student and parent(s) to target a career path that aligns with the student’s interests and abilities and opens up possibilities that were never even on the radar prior to identifying individual strengths.

Based on their aptitude scores, plus the support/advice from their school counselors and parents, Mirrors of H.O.P.E. would enhance student participation in developing personalized and targeted career goals by allowing:

• all 8th graders to choose 9th and 10th grade electives that match their interests and lines up with gaining additional knowledge to enhance their marketable skill set;

• all 10th grade students to refine their course selection for 11th and 12th grade electives that matches their career interests;

• all 12th graders to participate in a mentorship program or an employer —sponsored apprenticeship that exposes them to the actual “workday realities” of their chosen career.

The mission of Mirrors of H.O.P.E. is to work on a viable solution to the educational inequity and inequality that currently exists throughout America. This will require close collaboration among government, school districts, postsecondary institutions, and local employers. Together these stakeholders must decide what students need to learn in the classroom before they enter the workplace. President Trump, together we can make America great again by investing our resources in Mirrors of H.O.P.E.

NEILL RUSSELL

Queenstown

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