Fixing education

In a recent article from the Washington Post, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is quoted as considering public education at “a dead end.” Of course, we’ve known this since February 2017 when the Senate first confirmed her. But if public education is hitting a dead end, how come we are in the midst of a technology revolution? From left to right, the newest pieces of high-tech equipment are being introduced to the world. How is this happening if we are failing students in school? Some of the most famous CEOs who dominate the business and technology industries went through public education. Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos all attended a public high school. Was their education wasteful? Would they have been as successful today if placed in a private or religious school?

We are struggling in the world of education but not for the reasons that Devos proclaims. I’m a fourth-grade teacher and I could write down all of the possible reasons on paper. One thing is for sure: The problem does not reside with teachers alone. After visiting a public school in 2017, Devos told the media: “I met with some wonderful, genuine, sincere teachers who pour their heart and soul into their classrooms and their students, and our conversation was not long enough to draw out of them what is limiting them from being even more successful from what they are (doing) currently. But I can tell the attitude is more of a ‘receive mode.’ They’re waiting to be told what they have to do, and that’s not going to bring success to an individual child. You have to have teachers who are empowered to facilitate great teaching.”

If she’s looking for these kinds of teachers, she needs to focus on teachers who work in Waco ISD. She needs to meet Waco ISD’s superintendent, Dr. A. Marcus Nelson.

The issues we face in public schools will not and cannot be fixed by placing children where parents see fit. The same problems will only transfer over, causing even more chaos. We live in a society of privilege. Till that word is driven from the dictionary, no one will ever have the same rights to education. Pushing private and religious schools make the word “privilege” become even more acclimated. We can’t erase “privilege” from the dictionary but what we can do is destroy the No Child Left Behind Act. We can get rid of Secretary Devos. We can provide more funding for public education so we can provide all resources to all students. We can make education a priority and not irrelevant. We can teach peace, equality and civil rights to our students. Just like our famous CEOs who are the product of change, maybe this generation of millennials can do the same.

Claire Wilkison, Waco

Voter suppression!

With all due respect to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ move to enforce federal marijuana laws, legal pot may turn out to be a good thing. Lefties could get too stoned to remember to vote!

Rick Ellis, Axtell