Oh, Woe, What's Next?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Oh woe, what is next is an apt introduction to a topic that lots of people talk about but little actually gets done and the product improves. The product, children, is a blessed event most of the time unless you are black, brown or not readily acceptable to the majority.

I saw the prejudice in my small town as Polish, Italian, Latvian immigrants moved to work in the factories of the town I am from. Those folks "on the other side of the tracks" were often belittled because they spoke no English and ate strange foods. I know that the school changed a lot of perceptions of what people thought or at least it did to my age group. The Polish girl with a last name that ended in Ski turned out to be a friend. Ditto the Italian boy with a last name that ended in Ina.  We had names like Rozanki, Andolina, Kochanski, Cicero. We graduated together.

The town's people changed along with the school's efforts, though not on a conscious level I am sure. What was different in this small town and that of the problems we have in Chattanooga?  Maybe it's the size of the community or size of the problem or maybe it is the color of the skin? All of the issue relating to education or lack of can be and should be solved on a local level.  Only we know the problems well enough to solve, but for what and how?

Let me describe a way so simple that even the minds of esteemed educators and county leadership seemed to miss the point. Doing the nibbling around the edges has not solved anything and lots of money has been spent  The subjects in question still begin school behind; stay behind and you all know the outcome for so many that did not get an adequate education. I wonder, really wonder, that if society educated all its citizens, would the crime, drug and marriage failures be as large? We must educate the entire family.

The large sum of money now allocated to study the problem is a waste of resources. Why not hire full time home/teaching/coordinators just for the inner city elementary school. Money well spent?

Robert Brooks



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