To the point week of 9/6/07


EDUCATION IS OUR MOST IMPORTANT product in this county. Of all of the things that are accomplished here, there is nothing more important than educating our children and grandchildren and providing them with the tools that they need to go out and enter the next phase of their lives.

Whether it’s on to higher education or into the field of work, the educational foundation that is laid here in our community schools follow each and every child throughout their lives.

With the new school year less than a month old, we should be looking at the upcoming ISTEP tests and GQE tests and focusing on allowing our students to excel to and achieve the heights that they are capable to reaching.

We should be doing that – but we aren’t.

This is a community that stands on the brink of educational turmoil.

Why? Because although we all see the value of educating our children, our focus has shifted to attacks and lawsuits and a “he said, she said” mentality.

At a time when we should be evaluating our system, we instead are spending time bantering back and forth on a personal level. Maybe it feels good to make things personal, but it isn’t doing our children any good.

Maybe you do or don’t like our school superintendent. Maybe your reasoning is justifiable – or maybe it’s personal.

Perhaps you have issues with our school board. Maybe those issues are valid – or maybe they’re part of a tide of impatience.

But as we throw arrows at individuals, aren’t we all losing sight of our main mission? Isn’t – truly – the education of our children first and foremost?

The citizens have every right to question their leadership; and in the letters to the editor in this newspaper, people have expressed concerns and views.

At school board meetings, people have stood during public comments and made statements and asked questions. That is their right to do just that – and I applaud them for their willingness to speak their mind.

But what is disturbing to me are the rumors that people circulate around the community. They have no basis, but only serve as fuel to ignite a smoldering fire.

But let’s not forget that the real focus of the county’s wrath should be on the person who stole more than $1 million from our children. If we want to make something personal – then let’s place the blame where it belongs.

What we cannot allow ourselves to do is to wallow in days and weeks of finger pointing and rumor spreading, because it doesn’t get us anywhere that is positive for our children.

The proper place to express concerns is either at a school board meeting; or through a letter in this newspaper. No matter which course you take, make sure that you’ve got your fact straight before you speak, because stating rumor as if it were fact only serves to deepen the void that is growing daily on its own.

Our leadership needs to be accountable, but they also need to hear credible information when it is presented.

Let’s stop throwing spears – it doesn’t do anyone any good. Instead, let’s try and find a way to return our focus to the children of this community and the education that they are receiving.

That’s what’s truly important.