Schools don’t fail, outsiders detached from the classroom experience do
Sep 10, 2019 | 3:20 PM
Stephen J.K. Walters’ synopsis of The Kirwan Commission and public education is simply another so-called expert who has not spent a career in the K-12 classroom (“Kirwan Commission enables education monopoly,” Sept. 9). His ad hominem remarks further illustrate his lack of understanding and experience. His perspective is not unique.
I assert there are no failing schools. Calling a school failing is akin to calling the Pacific Ocean failing because of the amount of pollution and degradation and then holding the fish accountable. Schools reflect the communities from which the students come. There are numerous studies that indicate ZIP code is the greatest predictor of a school’s “success."
Mr. Walters is correct in asserting that simply putting more money into the school system’s coffers will not increase the performance of the students. Education has historically been viewed as the means to raising one’s standard of living. That idea has been misinterpreted to now mean schools are responsible for raising the level of an individual’s standard of living, a responsibility that is not the role of education. If our country authentically wants to create better academic performance of our students, we must acknowledge the inequities that exist in our society that have created generational poverty.
Yes, hundreds of years of racism has an impact on our schools today. We need to focus on the student and stop rating schools on the achievement of objectives for performance that were designed by so-called experts. We need to listen to teachers and parents. Lastly, we need to stop the fallacy that a building can be failing. The real failures are the designers of the education game we now have.