Schools need good parents to succeed
By Gordon Correll
Special to the Salisbury Post
It goes on and on and on. What really makes a good school?
Is it a good superintendent, good teachers and administrators, effective curriculum and technology, adequate facilities and funding, the board of education? What is the relationship between poverty and school achievement?
All of the above do play a role in school achievement and effectiveness. The main ingredient, however, are the parents. I have said this time and again: good parents make good schools. Do the parents have to be college educated? It helps, but it is not absolutely necessary. Can students who come from lower economic circumstances achieve in school? Of course, it has been occurring for years and years.
There is no amount of money that can replace a good parent who works hard to support their child’s education.
If parents work with their child’s teacher to make sure the child completes all assignments, obeys and follows school policy, and shows respect for school personnel, we would see achievement scores greatly improve.
Students who are poor, and do not have college educated parents can still achieve if they have good caring parents who support the school and realize that the child’s education is extremely important. Children have to be taught to respect others, and they have to be taught to put forth their best effort. When they fail to do this, parents must initiate consequences for their improper behavior and effort.
Good parents will make sure that the school has good administrators, teachers, curriculum and facilities. A community does not have enough money to fund the sweat equity that good parents provide.
A school needs to reflect the entire community. It needs to have students from all walks of community life, not just one or two groups of community life.
My parents were not college educated, and they did not have a lot of money, but they made sure I put forth an honest effort, obeyed the school rules, and respected school personnel. I did learn from the other students who had college educated parents and came from a higher economic status. By going to school with them, I was exposed to some of the finer things in life and more social graces.
I don’t base my opinion on just what happened to me as a student in the Salisbury City Schools many years ago.
My opinion comes from thirty years of service to public education in one of the most poverty stricken areas of South Carolina, the Pee Dee region. I have seen what poverty can do to schools, but even more detrimental is what a lack of good parents can do. Parents cannot sit back and expect the school to educate their children, and they cannot expect the schools to educate their children if they only want to find fault with the school. They must be involved with their child’s education in a positive way, and they must support the school personnel in making it the best school it can be.
Finally, the people employed by the school need to listen to the parents. Do not allow the child to play the school against the parent or the parent against the school. With this team approach, the parents and the school can involve the other community institutions in assisting with the total education of a child.
Our communities do not have enough money to fund our schools adequately or lead them adequately without the support of good parents.
Parents, the ball is in your court. Are you going to roll up your sleeves and work to build better schools, or are you going to take your children away from the school to greener pastures and allow the Salisbury-Rowan schools to be less than what they can be? Parents, it is your child and your community.
Gordon Correll lives in Salisbury.