We’ve been keeping an eye on several local items of unfinished business.
I believe that one of the challenges facing educators and those supporting the public schools today is that there is really not a lot of understanding about education today. Most of us went to school. For some of us that was a long time ago. Some of us, like me, attended large city or suburban schools. Others may have attended smaller or very small country schools. There are probably a few who recall one room schoolhouses.
I borrowed the question in the headline for today’s column from an article I read recently. The beginning of a new calendar year seems like an appropriate time to raise this question. For the past year this column has been dedicated to informing parents and all citizens about issues impacting the public schools. In this space today, I want to share some information that can be used as we communicate with policy makers in Lansing and Washington, D.C.
Theresa Flores travels across the country in her effort to free all women and children from the nightmare of human trafficking. She is also a survivor. When I’m asked to put a face on the problem in Michigan, I think of Theresa. She was forced into sex trafficking in high school while living in a prominent Southeast Michigan community.
Weather like this reminds us of how much we appreciate the road crews of Greenville, Montcalm County, Belding and Ionia County and nearby areas. Heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures have posed considerable challenges to the people who keep our roads passable and our communities in business. If you’ve been reading The Daily News lately, you’ve read about the perils of their job, where stormy weather, darkness of night, unpredictable traffic comes to them often in the wee small hours of the morning.
I am writing this column while my outside thermometer reads minus 8 degrees and although the sun is shining, I can see lots of snow outside my window. I am snug inside taking care of putting away Christmas decorations and generally tidying up the house. I actually love January weather because I have the luxury of staying indoors. Although I am getting some cleaning done, my first choice would be to curl up with a book and savor the quiet day.
This past week, Susan J. Demas wrote a column that came down very hard on parents. She took them to task for not keeping up on their end of the bargain when it comes to educating their children. She said, “Forget blaming teachers. Blame the parents.”
On Monday, the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners are set to decide whether to approve a request from a subcommittee of the Montcalm Alliance to enact a new millage increase to help economic development in our area — without putting it to a vote of the people.
With each school year, we begin a cycle of athletic seasons that complement our top priority: academic achievement. From time to time, we find ourselves reflecting on the meaningful role school-based athletics plays in our students’ overall education. We are also reminded that our purpose needs to be well understood and in the most effective situations, will be a shared commitment by students, coaches, parents, and the community. When expectations of purpose are not shared, our athletic programs aren’t able to make the positive contributions we hope they bring to our schools.
The approach of the holiday season is as good a time as any to ask what the essentials of a good education are. The only way we will reach our goal is to start by defining what it is that we want to achieve. janet