School-home reality

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The responses to Tony Norman’s Feb. 18 column (“Biggest Gap in Black Kids’ Learning: Parents”) were all good.

I reiterate what a gentleman from Mt. Lebanon wrote — that good teachers and good parents make for good schools.

The problems of poor home environments have been talked about for more than 50 years. They are very difficult and schools are not responsible for them.

Remember the movie “Blackboard Jungle,” which came out in 1955? It was a microcosm of poor schools across the country.

Today teachers are made scapegoats. To say that superior teachers are needed is oversimplifying the solution.

First of all, how do we get them? There are no guarantees that they could cope with the situations they find. Do we train them? Do we transfer them from good schools to bad schools? Do they have a choice? Remember, they have teachers unions to support them. What good teacher wants to teach in a poor environment? Will all of this have to be funded?

Some education people are idealistic and the world is not ideal.

Together we must find solutions and do what is necessary. We can try innovative approaches proposed by universities. We can talk with educators from successful urban public schools, and we can retrain teachers as has been proposed.

In the meantime, I reiterate what President Barack Obama said — that government cannot do it all. “Turn off the television set,” he said.

HARRY C. WARD JR.
Schenley Heights


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