My Turn, Michael Chapman: Missed opportunity for school system

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 11, 2022

By Michael Chapman

In response to Kenneth Hardin’s article “Why is our school system performing so poorly?” (Dec. 4), I must say that you have a way with words. I was unsure what to title my response. “Too little too late” “Better late than never” or what I settled on “Missed opportunity.”

Where were you six months ago? For over a year on the campaign trail I was the only candidate presenting the facts and figures to the public. I know that about 14,000 voters just did not care about those horrible numbers. It makes me wonder why?

You stated that you did not have a “dog in the fight.” I strongly disagree! These are the future leaders of our community, and we better care. By the way, you said that we were in the bottom 50%. You sugar coated that. We are in the bottom 10% of all N.C. districts and the No. 1 worst in larger districts with 30 or more schools. There is nothing wrong with the graduation rates as we are at 85%. What is concerning is that less than 19% of our graduates are college ready or up to grade level. The majority of them cannot even sign their name. Why is the country club crowd satisfied with the majority of our students getting a sub par education? They are the ones who made sure their candidates stayed on the board. Is it possible that they have a self serving motive?

Mr. Hardin, you had the opportunity to make a difference prior to the election, and I even approached you but you could not speak with me. Why not address why we are spending over $45,000 per student at Henderson while only graduating six students over the last two years. That’s $600,000 per graduate. Lets talk about backing our teachers up with real discipline actions so they can teach properly. You said “basic fundamentals.” My entire campaign was about improving discipline and bringing back the basics of education. I do agree 100% with you on the central office staff. All positions in that office need a review and an audit. There is more going on there than meets the eye. Finally; you are very optimistic when you say “new life on the school board.” You have the same three board members winning, and out of the two new ones, one is a relative of one of those older board members. The pot was stirred but it looks like the same old stew.

Time will tell, and the June report cards will show us if there has been improvement.

The caring people of Rowan County need to stand up and reclaim our schools. Praying for our children.

Michael Chapman lives in Salisbury.