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Reply to "The Effect of Public Schools on Our Kids"

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Home district - $11,000 per student, racially diverse student body, high test scores, high graduation rate, schools in good repair. Students worry me they are going to damage their backs by carring ultra heavy backpacks to and from school each day (elementary to high school age)


Though these school characteristics are impressive, this situation, obviously an exception, does not represent the norm. You described your home district as being "racially diverse." However, in schools where Black students make up most, if not all of the student population, particularly in poor urban environments, the students tend to suffer from the worst school (and home) environments, including schools that are understaffed and have been for quite a number of years with uncertified, unqualified teachers. Of course there are many ways that this can be remedied, but the point is, you cannot use your home district as a standard by which other schools should perform, especially if your school has at least the basic necessities in order to perform, like qualified and motivated teachers and enough textbooks for the children to use.

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Now go back to my original question - how can the students in Trenton ever improve their learning if they never bring any books home from school? How can we work to change this?


This is a question that Trenton school administrators (principals) and teachers will have to explore. Perhaps teachers can apply some kind of reprimandation to students who are not carrying textbooks home. Perhaps they can establish some kind of reward system. There are many programs that can be used to motivate your students. However, if a large number of students are not bringing home textbooks to do homework assignments, etc. clearly, that reveals a problem on the part of the school and those who are responsible for the students, NOT the students themselves. If clear directions are given and guidance and structure are established, right from the beginning, children will do exactly what they are told.
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