School System Fails To Educate Kids

Dear Editor,

Our kids deserve better!

Did you realize that we are spending $1 billion a year on a school system that is failing in its basic mission to educate our kids? It is both disturbing and sad when you realize that less than half our kids can pass the end of course/end of year exams.  Also, less than half can pass the basic competency tests in math and reading. At the same time our school system touts a graduation rate of 92 percent. Something is drastically wrong here.

Fortunately, we have a team of four candidates running together for the school board on a shared platform. They have studied the issues and are committed to a plan to fix the outages. Their focus is on a return to the fundamentals of educating our children, empowering parents, supporting teachers and staff, ensuring student success and security, and promoting financial accountability. Each candidate brings a varied experience that would make the team as a whole a valuable addition to the board. 

Members of this team are: Linda Welborn, Demetria Carter, Crissy Pratt and Tim Andrew. I have worked closely with all four candidates and am confident they can drastically improve our school system.

Gene Parker


Downtown Resident Sees Room For Change

Dear Editor,

Living downtown for the past three years I have watched COVID turn this city into a ghost town.  Crickets were the only ones who sang peacefully.  Finally, after several years, the city is becoming enlivened and resurrected.  We are slowly watching life move on.  I am a nurse and I am still seeing COVID spread through the community.  However, there isn’t as much fear.  There is a lack of compassion.

Our society is still hardened by this pandemic.  We’ve become cold to our homeless and to those people who just need to have a friendly face.  Caring for others is what I do for a living, but it is also what drives me to make the world a better place.  Politics, racism, and the epitome of what the human race could be versus what it actually has become bothers me and should to everyone else.  There is a protest marching through the town almost every weekend.  Why?   How difficult is it to encourage someone who is “down on their luck?”  Why has the human heart dissipated into ignorance, impertinence, and hatred.

There is a homeless man that walks the street near my apartment.  He sings so beautifully (I’m also a musician for 30+ years) that one morning while I was walking my dog I complimented him on his voice.  Since that time he always sings when he sees me.  His ranting and raving at the voices in his head apparently calms down because I took the time to show care for HIM.  He has never asked me for anything.  How simple was that?  It didn’t cost me anything except a moment to appreciate a talent that he owns.

Maybe my heart is just too big and I have a loving soul.  What if more of the population had this personality of mine?  Perhaps they do, but are afraid in this day and age to show it.  The world is not getting any better and we all need to feel a certain unity to survive.

Perhaps this writing will never be read or shared with others.  Or perhaps I’m tenacious enough to share it and continue writing what I believe could change even one person’s perspective on the way that they are living. Commissioners will maybe see me and realize changes need to be made or they will continue their rotten political goals to achieve their own purposes and further destroy this city which could be great.

Michelle Knight