We have been headed in the wrong direction, for too long, by identifying academic test scores as the only things that count. That’s not true, and if you ask just about anyone outside of Columbus and Washington, D.C., they will tell you it’s not true. It’s about moving young people away from being failures (the easy way out) to being successes by doing the hard work: teaching persistence, self confidence built on real successes in the journey of life, and learning to not give in to fears that we all face.
Our country was not founded on academic skills alone, but rather founded on what people had in their heads and hearts. What can we do as a state and nation to build our youth, our schools and our communities? That’s the real question we need to be answering all across our state and this nation.
Oh, and governmental officials in Columbus and Washington, please don’t tell us that this question must be answered by the LEA (Local Educational Agency — which is government-speak for schools) and other units of local government. We need to tackle this together, and if we don’t know how to solve the problem, we need to admit it and then work together to find answers at all levels of government.
Alice Marshall and many other educators, parents and citizens at large understand that you cannot build our future by creating and then complaining about the academic failures of our youth. We must build together.