Readers: Parents not experienced enough to run failing schools


Not everyone’s an expert

Why is it that so many people mistakenly think that because they spent their youth sitting in school, they are experts on the subject? No other profession has to deal with this misconception. A rising number of these ‘experts’ then think that they can become teachers (home schooling). Now, some Floridians want to become the board of education! I believe members of school boards should have credentials and past experience that will help them make educated decisions to improve their school district. Preferably some of the board members should have been educators who worked in that district. Who better to make academic decisions than those who worked in that school district?” —Janet Umbel

Many board members are parents

“Parents who have kids in failing schools have a huge investment to help schools turn around. However, parents taking over school boards in the flux of wanting change and improvement may not be the best response. In fact, many school board members who are on these school boards are parents. … What if we join hands collectively, administration, teachers, parents, students, community, and other stakeholders, and promise to help our kids with a ‘Big Idea’ that is innovative and far reaching? One proposal I suggest is to quit glossing over the instructional negligence of ‘how’ we address the social-emotional needs of students. … As a parent, let’s join hands with all concerned people who want the ‘engine of innovation’ that drives instruction. While individually we make a difference, collectively we can move generations forward. What if?” —Louise Eggert-Nevins, Ed.D.

The country has enough inexperienced people running education

“Being a retired school teacher/administrator and reflecting back, observing the present, and projecting to the future, parents taking over the school board is not a great, good, or even workable solution. We have enough ‘experts’ who tell us how to run the schools, and the majority of these people have never been in a classroom except to visit. Stop the mandatory testing, create a school environment that is fun, exciting, and relevant to what the students need to be a contributing member of society. In education you get some ‘bad eggs’ just as you do in any business or industry. However, most of the teachers just want to be able to teach their students, see their students learn and achieve; but they are handicapped due to the enormous amount of requirements placed on them. Do I want the parents leading my school? No! I want a team of good educators who are interested in the welfare of each child. Can this happen? Yes! Will it work? Certainly, our parents and grandparents who went to 1-room school gained the basic knowledge and were quite successful. Teach more, test less, watch success.” —J.B. Holcomb, retired educator of 34 years

Meris Stansbury

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