OTHER OPINION: Public education is a lifeline to personal growth

Public education faces many challenges, and often the focus is on under-performing schools and students who are not doing well. But there is another side to public education, too, public school success. Unfortunately, it is an aspect of public education we don’t hear enough about. With that in mind, we offer congratulations to the eight public schools in our Jackson, Tenn., area that have achieved Reward status for increasing student achievement.

The eight public Reward schools in The Jackson Sun’s coverage area that performed at the top 5 percent of public schools in Tennessee are: Bradford Elementary, Friendship Elementary, Medina Elementary, Pin Oak Elementary, South Side Elementary, Lexington Middle, Milan Elementary and Madison Academic Magnet High School.

The state recognized 169 Reward schools this year. It is interesting to note that a large proportion of these schools are in big cities such as Memphis, Nashville and Chattanooga, including 70 schools that serve mostly economically disadvantaged populations, considered difficult environments in which to achieve public school success, and where the focus tends to be on schools with problems.

Public education is a lifeline to personal growth, intellectual development, talent development, civic engagement and, ultimately, economic stability. These are bedrock underpinnings of a stable and productive society.

This year’s Reward schools in our area are good models of what public education can be.

Perhaps the most important factor in creating good public schools is a solid parent, family and adult support system for each student. Teachers know how to educate, and they can help keep students on track while in the school environment several hours a day. But it is what children experience before and after school in their home environment that often spells the difference between success and failure at school.

What all of us must remember is: When public schools succeed, we all win.

Jackson Sun, Jackson, Tenn.

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  • charlie

    How about funding Public Education fully and then let the schools teach. Charter schools are no better that Public schools and drain already short funds from Mississippi children.