Fix family first

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Columnist Tony Norman was right on the mark in Tuesday’s column “Biggest Gap in Black Kids’ Learning: Parents.”

Parents who want the best for their children, in school and in life, can start by looking in the mirror. That’s because they are their children’s first and best teachers. Without their support and involvement — beginning before birth and continuing into adulthood — any attempt to improve educational opportunities for children, no matter what their race or gender, is severely handicapped.

Forget ideological agendas (school choice, vouchers), silver-bullet fads (public charter schools, teacher evaluations, curriculum) and convenient shift-the-blame scapegoating (bad teachers, obstinate teachers’ unions, poor administrators). They are nothing but sideshows that ignore the fundamental reality that public schools are a direct reflection of the families, children, neighborhoods and communities they serve. Any so-called education reforms that do not take into consideration that hard and uncomfortable truth are doomed to fail.


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