We are at a point in this country where our educational system is, quite frankly, a joke. American students are lagging far behind other industrialized nations in math and science, and a large percentage of our high school graduates are earning diplomas without even being able to write cohesive essays that are grammatically correct. Yet, instead of coming together and trying to find ways to fix our broken system, we are wasting our time pointing fingers and trying to pass the blame.
The saddest part about the recent upheaval of the Coolidge School Board is that, in the end, it is only the children who are being hurt. It is their education that is suffering, while the adults who are supposed to be in charge of it are too busy squabbling with each other over trivial matters. While some may try to blame it on the faltering economy or gross administrative mismanagement, it seems more likely that the real problems lie not in the system itself, but in the people who are too busy fighting with each other to do their jobs and make things work.
The main purpose, the only purpose, of a school board should be to make sure that the children in a community are being served and educated.
Last week, Superintendent Darlene White was “reassigned” to her home until further notice, and several administrators were left in limbo, wondering if their contracts were even going to be renewed. This week, positions were eliminated and a few resignations were even submitted. What should have been a meeting to discuss issues and try to come to rational resolutions became more of a childish quarrel. Watching the proceedings was like watching a bunch of third graders trying to figure out how to uninvite the unpopular kids from a birthday party, after everyone has already RSVP’d.
As a community member, I am sickened by these events, and saddened by the irresponsibility of the people whom other community members have entrusted to educate their children. How are we going to be able to hire faithful and hardworking administrators after this? How are we going to attract quality teachers? How are we going to fix any of the real problems in our educational system, when we can’t even learn to get along with each other? I do not have any children yet, and I must admit that I am glad, for I do not think that I could send my children to the Coolidge schools with a clear conscience, knowing that their education and well-being is not the number one priority.
It’s time to stop pointing fingers and assigning blame. It’s time to get off our high horses and admit that we have all made mistakes. It’s time to stop assuming that someone else is going to pick up the slack if we don’t do our jobs. It’s time to stop being so selfish.
We are at a point in the history of our country where we have the opportunity to make a great change, and really begin to turn things around for the better. In just a few short years, we have watched our economy tank, gas prices skyrocket, hundreds of thousands of people lose their jobs and their homes. We all sit and watch the news and wonder how it’s ever going to get any better. We think that we are helpless, and we wait for some superhero to come along and save us. But no one is going to save us. It’s up to us to save ourselves. It’s up to us to change. And the only way we have a chance to do that is by coming together, communicating, and keeping our focus on our goals and on the well-being of our children.
Lori L. Romano