Everything

       What's so good about public education in America?  Everything!


       I guess this is my post of platitudes.  

       Years ago I taught in a middle school that was located in an area where people were struggling to make ends meet.  I met with a lot of parents during my time at this school; and spoke with a lot of parents on the telephone if they weren't able to come to the school.  At the time, I was not a parent.  And, so, I did not have the perspective of a parent.

       We know that schools are challenged to raise the achievement of children from poor families.  We had a lot of these children at this school.  I would hear teachers say that the parents don't care about education and that is why the children did so poorly.  But when I met with the parents, I would hear a very different message.

       The parents told me that they wanted their children to do better then they did.  They wanted their children to get a good education and a good job.  One parent told me that she would tell her children to look out of the window at the house (and neighborhood) across the street and she would say, "Is this where you want to live when you are an adult?"  She told her children that she made mistakes in her life and she didn't take her education seriously and that is why they were forced to live in a neighborhood that was not so nice.

       Education is everything.  Education provides opportunity and options for all that take full advantage of it.  Learning and the ability to learn and to solve problems is a skill that enables people to make decisions, to create, to explore, and to live.


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