Joe Clement, Wichita Falls
The cry to increase Charter Schools and embrace a voucher system to allow students to flee their poor-performing public schools is once again in the news.
I have two problems with these solutions. First this would be like putting new tires on a car that needs an engine overhauled, may look great on the outside, but for sure won’t help it’s performance. Second, there’s no such thing as a poor-performing school. What we have in America is poor-performing parents.
Estimates show we have more than one million homeless students with 400,000 gang members under the age of eighteen.
More than half of all births to American women under 30 are born out of wedlock; 13.7 million single parents are raising 21.8 million children; 28 percent of students report being bullied; 1,183,700 violent crimes committed at our public schools during the 2009-2010 school year.
One in 3 children visiting a psychiatrist leave with a prescription for anti-psychotic medications. The number of self-supervised children is at 15 million. There are 750,000 plus teen pregnancies each year. 5.4 million children are being raised by their grandparents. Each week nearly 60,000 children are reported as abused or neglected. 800,000 children each year come in contact with the foster care system. Five percent of pregnant women report using illicit drugs, while 9.4 percent report alcohol use.
So you see, the issue to be resolved is not school performance, but rather parent performance.
Ranked at 17th in the world in education among industrialized nations, parent support for education, and grand expectations for their children is no longer a high priority. Some workable ideas would include scraping the No Child Left Behind Act; giving control of education to the states; and offering multiple paths to a high school diploma, recognizing that all students are not the same.