[Regarding “PEAK Academy’s Leadership Misplaces Its Wisdom Button,” Jan. 17, Xpress:]
The charge that PEAK Academy is a racist school makes little sense, given they do accept white students. More importantly, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction reports Asheville City Schools’ white student achievement scores are some five times higher than Black students [See “Reset Room: Charter School Puts a Dent in Asheville’s Racial Achievement Gap,” Nov. 8, Xpress].
PEAK Academy has cut that performance differential dramatically. If Asheville schools redesigned their curriculum along the lines of PEAK Academy, there can be an increase in Black student performance across the system — which would be a significant corrective to the damage caused by real, historical racism.
The charge that PEAK Academy is racist because of its efforts to improve Black student performance seems a bit … well, what would you call it?
— Tom Plaut, Ph.D.
Emeritus professor of sociology
Mars Hill University