After forming a concerned parents group several months ago, I now realize much initiative is needed for school reform. While I am optimistic, there is an inescapable responsibility to be realistic about the future. ...
There are more than 40,000 parents with children in our Richmond County school system, yet there is no reason why more of them cannot attend school board meetings or PTA meetings, or visit their children's school and investigate their children's performance.
Hence, we are getting what we deserve: less-than-adequate education and self-serving politics. It is heartbreaking to witness children coming to school ill-prepared.
And where are the parents? Shackled by laziness, chemical dependence, ignorance and self-denial. Too many parents don't have a clue about their children's conduct and school performance; they appear to be relieved just to get their child out of the house for a while.
Consequently, our public schools have evolved somewhat into a "child care" environment rather than a predominantly learning environment. Every social class is implicated in this transgression, and there are a number of dysfunctional two-parent families, too.
On the other end of the spectrum there are teachers who seem more occupied with vacation time than with striving to maximize learning potential in classrooms. There are administrators who appear more concerned with political correctness and maximizing their retirement benefits than setting aside their egos and taking their schools to new heights of achievement.
The duality of our school dilemma is painfully obvious: Parents blame teachers, and teachers blame parents. And students lose.
There is a double-edged sword of denial that swings through society, slicing dreams and opportunities. While we wrestle with putting the pieces back together, we'd better prepare our courts, jails and rehab centers for the casualties. Let's stop selling false hope, and cure the cancer that has infected public schools.
Brian Green, Augusta
(Editors note: The writer is an organizer of Concerned Parents of Richmond County.)
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