Parents crucial to school solution

Published 12:43 am Sunday, January 20, 2008

Natchez High students are failing English at an alarming rate, we learned last week.

Nearly 50 percent of the students taking the English II course failed in the latest nine-week period.

That single fact should strike fear into each citizen of Natchez and Adams County.

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That’s a sign that our public school system is in trouble — deep trouble. And, regardless of whether or not you have a child in the public school system, it’s going to affect you eventually, some day, some how.

We’ve all talked about problems in the public education system since the consolidation lawsuit ripped up the status quo and forced schools to merge, increasing school sizes and increasing resentment over the forced change.

The district got out from beneath the consolidation court order restriction a couple of years ago, but the damage to the district remains.

We need to begin some radical thinking to change the direction of things.

It’s obvious that our current system isn’t working well. No Child Left Behind seems to be ineffective in the Natchez-Adams School District. Children are being left behind at an alarming rate.

Maybe we’re asking too much of our public education system. Perhaps the real answer is truly not a question of more money, better teaching or improved curriculum, but a better home focus.

Our community needs to come together and come up with a way to improve parental involvement in the public school district. It’s the only way to prevent more and more students from failing.

Finding a way to make parents accountable for their children’s performance in school is the only way to prevent the students of today from becoming the dropouts of tomorrow.