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Bad public education? We must stop placing blame and look in the mirror

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com / Monkey Business Images

Our nation is ablaze with political debates surrounding education, charter schools and failing public schools. I read about thousands of schools failing nationwide, and all I can think is our children are not “failing.” We have failed our children.

Oftentimes during debates, I’ll ask panelists to share who’s actually consistently volunteering at a local school. In most cases, the answer from many is a resounding “no.” But one person volunteering once a week with one child could actually move mountains.

Some people point fingers and place blame when it comes to why our educational systems are struggling. Typically starting with teachers, then the school system, then government and ultimately back to our parents. And now charter schools. But never ourselves.

We can fail to admit how quickly self-interest, busy schedules and political affiliations can dissipate our compassion for children. Malcolm X said it best: “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” We must refuse to let politics, even our own, be a detriment to our children’s futures.

We should care less if a school is a charter or traditional school as long as it’s providing an excellent educational option for our children. Throughout my career, I’ve been a devoted teacher supporting and uplifting underfunded, underserved and underperforming schools. If a school could help a child be given a better educational option, not one parent would care what “type” of school it was.

Furthermore, if anyone is willing to close a high-performing community school in a “school desert” simply because it’s a charter school, it would be clear that they’re putting politics before children and parents.

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