News that the Jefferson County Public School system will attempt to correct the severe problems at six seriously underperforming schools by replacing 120 teachers (and a few administrators) is a classic example of good news and bad news.
Good, because sub-standard educators are a drag on any school. But bad, because no one's really being eliminated – just moved elsewhere to become someone else's problem.
Nonetheless, as far as the six affected schools are concerned, an upgrade in teacher quality will be a step in the right direction. But will it be enough to fix the problem entirely?
Not even close.
The truth is nothing determines a student's educational success more than parental involvement. And in that regard, not all schools are created equal.
My guess is, much of the responsibility for the poor performance of those six schools lies with parents who don't value education themselves and refuse to demand any effort from their children. And despite the pleasant myth of "Welcome Back, Kotter," that's an obstacle even the wittiest, most intelligent teacher can't overcome.
Within the often unreasonable constraints imposed by the teachers union, JCPS seems to be making an honest effort to address its problems. But until the parents of these underperforming students step up and do their part, no amount of teacher shuffling will fix the problem.
Call and let us know what you think.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View