05/08/06 — The real issue: Facing the facts first step in ‘fixing’ education

View Archive

The real issue: Facing the facts first step in ‘fixing’ education

Nobody really wants to talk about what the real issues are in North Carolina’s education system. Government officials point to lack of leadership in the schools, while school leaders say money and lack of support from Raleigh and beyond are the problem.

So, when the lottery came along, politicians pounced. Now, they finally had something to point to as a positive move they were making to “fix” education.

School leaders were cautious, but money is money.

Too bad that’s not enough.

Apathy, lack of parental involvement and problems motivating children — those are the real issues. Add to that the increasing difficulty in attracting, training and keeping quality teachers and administrators, and then you have a snapshot of what we are really going to have to address if we are going to move the state’s schools into the “successful” category.

Children are different today — and so, too, are the distractions that keep them from achieving all they can in school. Parents are different, too. There is a lot more to keep them busy, too. And there are factors that could be fixed in schools to make them more effective. Any good administrator will tell you that.

But even with all the studies and all the consultants — and even the lottery — what is most important in addressing North Carolina’s education concerns is making the issue a priority — for everyone.

And that starts by gathering all interested parties together and talking about the real challenges we face as we try to make our schools better without bankrupting our state.

These meetings won’t bring the instant gratification of a solution, but they will be an important step toward one.

And for right now, that just might be enough.

Published in Editorials on May 8, 2006 10:52 AM