I was scrolling through my email when I saw this question. I immediately thought, “NO” then had to contemplate whether that answer stemmed from me as a parent or me as an educator.
Many educators are also parents and the dichotomy of these two are engulfing. I once wrote that I haven’t had the pleasure of teaching at a school I would send my daughter. I think a lot of my reasoning has to do with what I’m not seeing in the system.
What does it mean for a district to make good on its mission statement? Will there be room for improvement or is the actuality of that mission enough?
In Shelby County, the school district’s mission is:
- By 2025, 80 percent of seniors will be on track to learn in a postsecondary classroom or enter the workforce straight out of high school;
- 90 percent of students will earn their high school diploma on time;
- Every student will enroll in a postsecondary opportunity college or career-ready.
I don’t believe the mission of our school system is inclusive enough. After all, before you can accomplish the end-goal, there must be attention paid to the beginning. Perhaps it’s implied, but I believe the school district should make explicit in their mission statement that there is an intentional focus on early literacy and early childhood education to strengthen the foundation and (hopefully) eliminate the foundational gaps in literacy and numeracy that exist for many students who are served by the Shelby County school system. In order for us to be ready by 2025, we have a lot of work to do inside the classroom.