At Ridgeview, we are accustomed to the fact that it takes time to be recognized for steadily doing the right thing in place of the popular thing. More importantly, we acknowledge that well-meaning and intelligent people should have a reasonable degree of latitude in determining what the right thing is rather than being hobbled and compromised by a bureaucracy intent upon maintaining a dreary status quo. Doing the right thing, however, is not something that is always easily discernible in the rankings or the test scores. Sometimes the intangibles count for quite a lot, but you have to have seen them firsthand to appreciate their importance.
Rather than talking about criterion-referenced assessments, heterogeneous grouping, matrix sampling, or a zone of proximal development, our teachers, both new and veteran, will sit down most Thursday afternoons and partake in the sorts of conversations that great teachers have been engaging in for centuries. They will discuss these ideas as articulated by authors such as Dorothy Sayers, Hannah Arendt, T.S. Eliot, Harold Bloom, Gilbert Highet, Plato, Etienne Gilson, Simone Weil, G.K. Chesterton, Jacques Barzun, Russell Kirk, Josef Pieper, Michael Oakeshott, Montaigne, Aldous Huxley, and others who can offer some insight into how we might best reach our students, and which knowledge is most likely to become wisdom with time. Of course, this is not the first year in which we have had these sorts of conversations. In fact, many of our students would likely recognize many of the names from that list as a result of their Ridgeview education. What we do believe is that by focusing on the intellectual development of everyone within our community – students, teachers, and parents – we are much more likely to flourish as an intellectual community, and that for us is doing the right thing.
We further believe that our commitment in this regard is clear to all those who choose to visit. One such visitor, Joy Pullman, a research fellow on educational policy at the Heartland Institute, recently published a piece that deals directly with the quality of the instruction and the quality of the teachers at Ridgeview. Most importantly, visitors like Mrs. Pullman leave impressed with our students and the rigor of their education. Please take a look at Mrs. Pullman’s article by following the link below, and know that we look forward to seeing everyone for the second week of our new year.