01/29/07 — It’s time to talk: Want to fix education? Then let’s discuss real problems

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It’s time to talk: Want to fix education? Then let’s discuss real problems

There are a whole lot of people who are finally starting to broach a subject few of us really know how to tackle — the real problems in our schools.

There is plenty of advice from all over about how to make education more effective — and how to solve the problems that are facing schools across the nation.

But when such discussions begin, they usually are focused on improving schools and teachers and not always on some of the factors that have much more influence on whether or not a child gets and retains a good education.

This weekend, members of the Advocates of Goldsboro and Wayne County, a group dedicated to improving Wayne County schools, gave their opinions on what schools and students need.

And while their discussions included some of the same criticisms that usually dog any school district — better teachers, more remedial programs and a targeted vocational track for those who do not want to go to college — they also touched on a subject that we have to look at seriously if we are going to make Wayne County Schools the best they can be.

Some of the Advocates said there are plenty of external factors involving students and their families that affect the education they receive.

And they are dead-on right.

If we are really serious about improving education in Wayne County, we have to talk about it all — standards for behavior in school, parental involvement or non-involvement, environment and grade promotion requirements.

This might be just the time for such a discussion — and a community-focused effort to decide what the next steps should be for improving our schools.

This is the first step in a long, but important, process. But with a little honesty and a real determination to fix the problems, we just might get this job done right.

Published in Editorials on January 29, 2007 11:03 AM