Lively, thought-provoking Trib Facebook comments followed Trib staffer Shelly Conlon’s Wednesday story about a Waco Independent School District community meeting — the first of three — on five long-troubled school campuses and district plans to avoid state-prescribed closure if students at those campuses fail in state-mandated testing next spring. Many readers focused on who’s to blame for our failing schools. A sampling:
Sasha Michelle Velásquez: Sometimes it’s not the teachers, it’s the parents! They don’t hold their children accountable. My son goes to Alta Vista [Elementary School] and I see how his teachers and both principals interact with the students to ensure they learn. Plus I also make sure to keep an open line of communication with the teachers in regard to my child to make sure he is doing how/what he should academically and behaviorally. I check my son’s folder daily to see if he has homework and assignments. Come on, parents. Do your part. Take away the TV and technology if you have to. Enforce rules, help your children with their homework. If they don’t understand, help them understand it. Your child’s future and the future of an amazing school is at stake.
Gabi Renee: Very true of the kids. They don’t want to learn or listen or do homework. And instead of parents being held accountable or the kids, it’s all pushed on the teacher.
Michael Cotten: Welcome to this brief meeting. The answer is family. It’s a no-brainer. There’s no amount of money or hope you can throw at the education system to replace the importance of family support in the education process. Meeting adjourned.
Fran White: Combine community centers with schools, food, computers, study buddies, family counseling, CPS advisers along with after-school and weekend tutoring. Requirements for parents and guardians. It takes a village.
Tony Abad: Remember about 15 years ago when schools stopped sending homework because “it’s the parent, not the child, who does the homework”? Apparently they didn’t want the parents spending time with the child to reinforce the importance of school! So much for parental Involvement. I think this is a huge unintended consequence of the district’s choice.
Mike Lashombe: Tony, I never heard that was a reason. One reason homework was stopped was because of technology. Not all kids have access to the Internet to do homework. When I was teaching in Waco ISD, we did not even have textbooks for the kids to take home. We had one set to use in class. We also were told that we could use only one box of paper per semester, so making copies to give out to do work was not possible. Teachers’ hands are tied.
Brenda Cagle Franklin: My grandson attends Crestview Elementary which, while not one of the five schools mentioned, still has had its issues. What I can say is that he had an amazing kindergarten teacher who never gave up on him, even when he was busy acting a fool. She prepared him well for first grade. His first-grade teacher this year sets the bar high and, from what I’ve seen so far, her students are meeting her expectations. Her methods pretty much demand parental participation. It honestly takes a village. Our schools should be the center of our neighborhoods. I like the energy of the new superintendent [A. Marcus Nelson].