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Congrats to Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy on High Honors on National Ranking
posted by: Cindy Omlin | April 27, 2016, 08:25 PM   

Idaho Education News reports that the Washington Post has once again cited the most challenging high schools in Idaho.  Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy, founded by NWPE President Dr. Bill Proser, makes the list once again.  It received highest honors in 2013 and 2014. Riverstone International, a private school and newcomer to the list, received top honors this year with the Academy coming in at second place. However, the Washington Post lists no score for the private school and the Academy had higher ACT scores. This gives Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy top honors for the most challenging public high school in the state of Idaho.

bill proser croppedThe Washington Post rankings are calculated by the total number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certification of Education tests student take each year.  That total is divided by the number of graduates to yield a score.  The higher the score, the higher the ranking.

“Dedicated to providing a rigorous, content-rich, college preparatory education for any students who are willing to accept the challenge,” there are some fundamental values that undergird the Academy’s success.  These include:

  1. Being a school of choice
  2. Academics first
  3. Academic rigor
  4. Pedagogical Freedom
  5. Discipline and Respect
  6. Uniforms

Dr. Proser explains the zeal of scholarship promoted at the Academy.  “Education, it seems to me, seeks to enlarge, enrich, and complicate our understanding of things. Perhaps, most importantly, good education mysteriously transmits a love of the subject that is the rightful inheritance of our students. It is a legacy of thought passed from one generation to the next by great teachers. It has been my good fortune to sit under such teachers. One of mine was a world geography teacher who posed a single great question for the semester. Why is Brazil so poor and Switzerland so rich?

bill proser teachingAlthough some of the answers our class suggested have faded, the excitement generated by the questions remains. It is my conclusion that the excitement corresponds to the difficulty of the question. Easy answers will not do, in the same way that slam dunking a basketball over the top of your little sister is not much fun. Challenge is inherently linked to achievement. A campus where ideas are valued and the conflict of opinion in debate is not only encouraged but also celebrated, invigorates people. A school that can frame the forum for this debate of ideas without the rancor or animosity that so easily shuts off the dialog has captured the idea of the British Parliament or the American Senate. Such a school ascends to its proper place in the long tradition of academic scholarship. It is a tradition that is the unique privilege of free men; men who are united in their pursuit of truth, perhaps divided by their conclusions yet committed to the process of understanding their own diversity."

Proser notes that each discipline of the academic world is built upon the ideas of those who asked the same old questions in a new way or replied to those questions with answers that disturbed their fellow creatures to such an extent, that a dialog was required. “For the western world, that dialog is characterized by the conflict of opinion in debate. My philosophy of education centers on the attempt to stimulate in my students a respect for this conflict. The conflict is what Walter Lippmann called the ‘Indispensable Opposition.’ To respect another human being involves taking his ideas seriously enough to argue the point with him. Implied in this are most of the qualities inherent in the tradition of scholarship stretching back to the ancients. It is a tradition that values a thorough and detailed knowledge of the best that has been thought and said on a subject, a discernment of the crucial tenets of position, honesty, craftsmanship and precision with language. These abilities are the necessary tools of the would-be ‘scholar.’ Students who emerge from our classes with these skills are ready to take their place at the banquet table of ideas.

Congratulations to Dr. Proser and all the teachers, administrators, support personnel, parents and community members that make Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy such a huge success.  Our communities and country will benefit from the students you are developing into successful, thoughtful, engaged citizens.

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