A proposal seeking Board of Education authorization of school credit for time spent in the Model Cities Community Skills Center and funds for textbooks was discussed last night by trustees and administrators. The Community Skills Center program, directed by Bill Jones, is an alternative school experience designed to accommodate 30 full-time secondary students who have demonstrated an unwillingness to attend regular school. It will serve students of the Model Cities Neighborhood who need tutorial services to boost their skills and to help dropouts return to school. "This proposal characterizes the school system's trend toward stretching its hands out to use community resources to edúcate all of its students," said School Supt. R. Bruce McPherson. He said although administrators are trying to reform the schools, "it is a hard reality to face but for some students the system is iiot only irrelevant but harmful." "I don't feel that every student must be educated in the traditional schools - and we have only been kidding ourselves in the past if we thought that we have been educating all of our students," McPherson continued. These alternative education programs are challenges to the system and some of them are coming not only outside the system but inside as well, the superintendent said. "I have faith the schools can be reformed but I also have faith in competitive models. It isn't always that the student is difficult for the system but rather the system is difficult for the student." Representing the Ann Arbor Education Association last night Albert Chaffee said: "The administration has a valid point in asking the system to reform, but at the same time you're bleeding it to death by diluting its funds and then criticizing it for not performing. You need to re-examine your directions before giving funds to other programs."
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