Monday, October 31, 2005


Today's Tennessean contains a "Nashville Eye" column that needs to be read and responded to. Not responded to by printing an excuse in the next edition of the paper, but responded to with legitimate action. La Quita Martin writes what I've heard from parents over and over. No one is listening. This is basic folks. No business survives without making it's customers feel like they're valued. Every successful business knows that without customers you have no business. Ms. Martin explains in today's column why she's no longer a public school parent.

[Director of Schools Pedro] Garcia never has grasped one tried and true, critical ingredient for a successful school — the buy-in from parents.

Instead, he ignored the parents of the students. Personally, during my five years with the system, he did not answer one letter that I wrote to him, nor did he return even one phone call. Parent groups in which I participated requested meetings which fell on a deaf ear. At school board meetings I attended, I watched him leave the room when parents spoke.

I'm sure they'll be some good reasons for some of this 'ignoring'. Regardless, her overall impression is the impression of lots of parents and THAT should not be ignored another moment longer.

The school system can no longer assume that they have the support of the parents of the children enrolled there. Surely our recent tax referendum proved that. The system seems to be squandering the good will and earnest desire of the most involved parents. These are the very parents that want to make the case for public schooling. Many of them believe, with a nearly religious fervor, that this is the best way to educate children. Many are loathe to choose a private education. But eventually, what they cannot get around is that their children have needs that must be met.

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