I am really proud of everything the Community Learning Center has accomplished over the past 16 years—first and foremost, the educational help we have provided to thousands of struggling kids across Florida.
In 2015 however, we want to take our help to the next level. For years, we have been helping parents by providing them with tips and tools they can use to help their own kids. This year we plan to make these tips and tools more easily available by publishing on our blog. Additionally, we will discuss what we observe is being done well in schools along with what is not. Because we help kids from all over the county, we have a pretty good perspective on what is happening or isn’t.
The fact of the matter is this: in spite of the huge number of wonderful teachers, administrators, caring parents, active community groups and smart kids we have in Pinellas and Florida, something is wrong—very wrong. Nearly 30% of Florida students drop out of school 1 and here in Pinellas 45% third graders read below grade level.2
1. The parent
2. The teacher
3. The educational system
4. The community
Our kids are smart. So the fact that so many are struggling indicates a problem with one or more of these legs.
While it is true that uninvolved parents are an issue, and some teachers do need to find another line of work, there is one leg that is broken for every child attending public school—the system. A system that compels many teachers to move at a rapid-fire pace through curriculum regardless of the instructional needs of individual students.
Certainly there are public school students who are succeeding—however, it is my observation that they are doing so in spite of the system, not because of it.
Knowing there is a problem is the first step to solving it. Knowing the system is broken let’s us know that we had better strengthen the other three legs for the sake of our kids.So in 2015, we resolve to help more kids by publishing information parents can use and joining the discussion of what can be done to improve the system we have.
Here’s to a great 2015!