Letter: Fixing graduation rate starts at home

Aug. 20, 2013 @ 10:47 PM

To the editor:

As I recently read of Vance County’s high school graduation rate, memories of my own experience in said system stood in stark contrast with those sadly less fortunate than I, with those who may never know or appreciate the true value of education and educational opportunity.

Credibility aside, everyone is a critic. Experience tells me few other public arenas than education elicit such disdain. Recent state budget considerations notwithstanding, I stand in support of teachers. I was graduated from Vance Senior High School and three universities in the UNC system (two with graduate degrees in education) and have worked in “the field” from pre-kindergarten to university level. I am no expert. I am an educated consumer and direct beneficiary of public education.

Positive, far-reaching, meaningful, sustainable systemic change begins first and foremost with the individual and in the home. Schools have been placed in the unenviable position of en loco parentis. Teachers wear many hats by virtue of their chosen profession and of their charges, but they are not and should not be responsible for instilling in children those things that are most meaningfully, most critically done so at home. They are not you. They are increasingly asked to do ever more with significantly less. That’s a budgetary matter. What they cannot and should not have to make better use of is less of your own time, energy and support of your own children. That’s a societal matter.

Take more responsibility for yourself and your children, and graduation rates and other significant measures of public good will rise with them. Fail to do so, and continue to watch them drop. That’s a memory and legacy no one deserves. Take care of what’s on your side of the street and watch what happens around you.

Heath Haithcock