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Gus Jacob, program director at UMKC's School of Education, was involved with Southwest's early college program from its development. Watching its decimation has been "a crushing blow," he tells The Pitch.
"One of the most emotional experiences for me," Jacob says, "has been writing letters of reference for teachers who are the absolute reason that school was headed to great success, as they either choose to leave or have to leave because they can't depend on there being a job for them next year.
"I am still very angry," he continues, "because it [the early college program] should have been allowed to grow and be nurtured. It was great for the students, great for the staff, great for the district. It was a win-win for everyone. Why this had to happen — it's just incredibly short-sighted."
In recent meetings between the district and Southwest's founding partners, there has been talk of restoring a strict early college format to the school by the 2012-13 school year.
It's the closest that anyone at the district has come to admitting that a mistake was made at Southwest.