Silencing Stakeholders Closes Schools

It’s Election Season! We must remember as we prepare to go to the polls the schools we “praised” for thriving and helping scholars reach success and how they became “failing” schools that have been closed due to low enrollment, funding, resources and support. It’s time we put the right leaders in place who won’t displace and disrespect our children, communities and families.

Stakeholders must trying ask, do we really take the time to think about the students and families who are displaced by gentrification, left out because of their zip code, overlooked because of their socioeconomic background, stereotyped because of their race and penalized because of their cultural uniqueness? What happens to the students that were served in public traditional and charter schools and then displaced because they didn’t meet the mark? Or because they were targeted due to where they live or their race? There are too many leaders in place making decisions that aren’t best for children but more suitable for adults and corporations.

Most Educational leaders aren’t asking the right questions about how to improve education. Moreover, they aren’t implementing the right practices to make effective change. The families of students who are displaced don’t get a say so and the way that they feel is often neglected or over looked. Families of children who aren’t making the mark are being failed because Educators aren’t trained on how to properly service their child or know how to tailor instructional support.

In a recent forum for parents to discuss the State of Education in Georgia, 11 parents had the following responses about their view on education :

  • 5 out of 11 parents feel like Georgia is not thriving with education
  • 3 out of 11 parents feel like Georgia isn’t doing enough with implementing a strong curriculum
  • 2 out of 11 parents aren’t satisfied with public traditional or public charter schools
  • 1 out of 11 parents is satisfied with education in Georgia (Christian Academy)

During the same setting I asked about engagement and here were the responses:

  • 10 out of 11 parents feel like communication between schools and families is not effective
  • 1 out of 11 parents feel like communication between home and school is good (Christian Academy)

The common denominator here is engagement. Educational leaders can’t make change without engaging families, students and stakeholders. Families, students and stakeholders are being left out of the processes that determine how our children learn, grow and play. Decisions about schools are being made by people who are invested in business, not education. Those who are focused on dollars and cents, as opposed to equity and equality. People who find ways to make a profit off of poverty instead of a making a difference through driving differentiated instruction all play a role in displacing and disrespecting students and families. If we continue to empower persons who don’t have the mindset of putting children first, then we’re in agreement with the negative impacts of the decisions these leaders who don’t put children first carry out. 

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.

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