Failing our students — The American public school system still has a long way to go; what can be done?

By Tamia Lane

We all believe that school systems could do a lot more to improve kids’ learning experiences, whether they are in grade school, middle school or high school.

African Americans were once unable to go to school and receive the same kind of education as white children. We were once not allowed to read, write learn at all. During the slavery era in the United States, the education of people of color was often discouraged and, in many cases, illegal.

But now we have the right to go to school, no matter what ethnic background you come from. Everyone deserves the best education.

If a class has 20 or more students, there is no way one teacher can help every student, and some students struggle more than others. Devoting more time to each student would be very beneficial in multiple ways — more children can get one-on-one help and a better understanding of the lessons.

Programs such as after-school tutoring should be offered to all students. If a child does not understand the lesson, they are going to either guess their way through the work — or not do it at all. If the kids don’t complete their assignments, they’ll eventually fail.

Every parent should be more involved in their children’s education. Parents tend to blame the schools for failing their children, but they will not get involved. They have the option to join the Parent-Teacher Association or volunteer in the classroom, but even if they have the time, many choose not to do so.

Some schools have done a good job with low-risk students, but for minorities and low-income families a lot of work needs to be done.

Youth nowadays have little to no guidance from parents or school officials. It takes a village to raise a child, but everything starts at home.

Yes, it is the responsibility of the parent to raise their child and to teach them. However, it is also the teacher’s responsibility to teach and enforce what has been taught at home. But if the kids aren’t being taught at home, it takes the teachers longer to educate them.

It is the relationship between the parent and the teacher that is important. A good parent-teacher relationship can prevent a child from slipping through the cracks.

Parents should make sure their kids are getting the proper and mandatory help in schools. I won’t put the full blame out on these parents, since I believe it all goes hand in hand.

Ask yourself, is the school system failing our youth or their parents?