Uptown Mosaic Magazine

An Uncommon Mind

Missed Education

February 2, 2011 by Omar Scott in An Uncommon Mind, Society

Sometimes you hear a story and think, “This can’t possibly be true.  It doesn’t make any sense.”  Like the well known urban legend about waking up in a bathtub of ice with your liver missing.  It might sound vaguely like it could happen but really you know it’s not true.  That’s how I felt when I read the story about the woman in Ohio who was jailed on a felony charge for sending her kids to school in the wrong school district.

It’s really disturbing that a community would go to those lengths to prevent children from access to an education.  A fine, community service or maybe probation on lesser charge seems all seem like reasonable punishments.  But jail?  Really?  It’s deeper than Kelley Williams-Bolar’s situation though.  It says a lot about education in this country though.  Some people seem more interested in creating barriers to education than opening doors.

Some people seem to miss the idea that education is an equalizer.  A great education doesn’t solve everything, but without access to good schools kids are left behind in life’s marathon.  Some kids go to school in enriching educational environments that will serve them for a life time; however, for far too many children substandard schools are a reality of growing up.  We need to get to the point where it’s unacceptable for this type of educational canyon to exist.

Sure there’s outrage and an ongoing reform push but these efforts, in my opinion, rarely address real solutions.  They focus on what’s good for adults. It’s always about the teachers’ unions, more standardized testing, charter schools or other some minor issue.  Well look around folks.  There are millions of kids sinking every day while petty adults bicker.  It’s time to change the discussion.  Years from now you don’t want to be in a nursing home with a guy who can barely read administering your medicine.  You’re going to wish you did more to improve the quality of education.  So let’s do it.  We owe it to children to do better.

There are probably thousands of parents all over the country doing the very thing Williams-Bolar did.  Sadly for some parents it’s the only way to give their kids a chance.  So in an effort to prevent our prisons from overflowing with parents like Williams-Bolar, let’s put the petty turf battles aside.  Let’s find some real solutions for the educational imbalances that we all know exist.  If we don’t resolve these issues we risk losing another generation of children.

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