02/05/04 — School questions: The answers are difficult and won’t please everyone

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School questions: The answers are difficult and won’t please everyone

There are more questions than answers about proposals to build new schools in Wayne County.

For example:

Should we build community schools, making schools and families parts of the same neighborhoods? Or would it be better to maintain bigger schools that might offer a wider variety of courses?

What can be done to help the children in the inner-city schools without harming those in other schools?

Since many of the questions involve race, what will help bring accord? Which words will heal rather than divide?

Is going to a racially integrated school important to a child’s life and ability to learn? If a racial balance is essential, how can it be achieved without jeopardizing the safety and convenience of children by assigning them to schools far from their homes?

One group of citizens is demanding magnet schools in Goldsboro. Is that the answer?

What more can be done, besides child-rearing classes already offered, to help enrich the home environment of children?

Would it be wise to build a new high-school campus for inner-city children even though an adequate campus already exists?

How can we make peace with those who threaten lawsuits and declare ultimatums as they voice their concerns?

How can we persuade more parents to participate in the education of their children by joining in school activities and maintaining relationships with the teachers?

Lots of questions, and none of them easy, none likely to get unanimous responses. Eventually, though, the Wayne County Board of Education and the county commissioners will have to provide answers.

Not everyone will be satisfied with them, but the boards can’t base decisions on the purely political criteria of who will or will not be pleased. They won’t be able to please all the adults, anyway, so they need only to consider which economically feasible measures are in the best interests of the children.

Published in Editorials on February 5, 2004 11:38 AM