Columnist spot on with call for school reform

Published 3:08 pm Wednesday, June 1, 2011

To the Editor:
Thanks to Howie Soucek for his article in The Tidewater News (“Poor leadership plagues schools,” May 22).
It was direct and to the point. Our school system has a direct affect on so many economic issues that plague our community.
For me, from the standpoint of a Realtor, having a school system that is excelling and exceeding is imperative to bringing in newcomers to our community.
As a parent with a child in Franklin Public Schools, I believe the call to action by Soucek for those who no longer have children in the school system, but live and provide the taxes to maintain them, is essential to moving forward to schools that produce the best of the best.
I personally feel this is possible for each student, and that schools can do more with less, as it is shown in studies over and over again. Private schools spend less money per student and get higher test scores and graduation rates.
Franklin doesn’t have a money problem, as much as it has an administration and policy problem. There is also the notion that education is a right, when a higher priority should be put on it as a privilege.
Someone is paying for the privilege of your child to obtain an education. Teachers are not baby-sitters; they are educators and mentors.
State laws that require students to stay in school until they are 18 are self-defeating. There are children who are naturals at academics and will go on to higher education in universities, but there are those whose natural skills and talents will take them into other fields of study and service in the community.
To keep them in academics when all they want to do is obtain skills to move into the workplace is detrimental.
We have everything in place to create a vibrant school system that will create a dynamic and vital community, however, having all the keys in place will not achieve anything if we all do not come together as a community and make sweeping changes. We cannot continue to educate our children in a system that is outdated, and we cannot continue to silence our best assets, which are our teachers.
It’s time for a change. In for a penny, in for a pound. I’m in and ready to get started in moving us, our children, our school system and our community forward.

Dawn Yurkas