Letter: The 'blame game' will not help improve schools

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 14, 2007

It was refreshing to read the (Jan. 11) interview with Sharon Deal which effectively set the record straight. While I’m neither a fan nor critic of Wiley J. Doby, it really upset me to read about the beginning of the blame game (a game played very well in Rowan County) regarding our schools, Doby and the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

I’m a nobody, just a dad. But I’ve known for a long time our schools were in trouble. It was widely reported in 1998 that the national average SAT score was 1017. The average N.C. score was 982, and in Rowan-Salisbury Schools, it was 979. In 1999, the U.S. score dipped to 1016, N.C. went up to 986, but RSS dropped 11 points to 968. To me, that signified the beginning of a problem, and neither Doby nor NCLB was anywhere near Salisbury at that time.

To sit there and say “this was the first we’ve heard of this” makes me wonder where you have been.

The problems haven’t just been here for the last five years and won’t be fixed overnight by some outside observers. It will take a collective approach by our boards (plural) to work together to make sure we get the best teachers, the best assistants, proper funding and a new spirit. Our administration, teaches, assistants, maintenance, bus drivers, students and, yes, parents, need to ask themselves: “Am I doing my best or could I do a bit more?”

Our principals need to know when they enforce rules and discipline, they will be supported. Our teachers need to know the school system supports them, and non-certified employees need to know they are more than just our lowest-paid employees.

I’m a nobody, just a dad with my last kid close to finishing in the district, and I’m tired of the blame game!

— Donald Vick