I applaud Kansas City School Superintendent Anthony Amato for his courage in considering the elimination of middle schools.
I have a son who is a sixth-grader in Raytown, and I sent him to a private school. My friends who taught at Raytown Middle School urged me to not send him there. They quit teaching because of the lack of discipline and leadership. Several of my friends are also considering pulling their kids out, because their academic performance has fallen dramatically since they started attending Raytown Middle School.
I have yet to meet a middle-schooler in Raytown who’s having a good experience.
I wish Raytown had leadership like Dr. Amato who would have the guts to address these concerns. I know parents who actually wished they lived in the Kansas City School District so they could send their children to one of the charter schools.
We moved to Raytown because of the schools. Fortunately, the elementary schools are exceptional. But I think Raytown has a huge disconnect at the middle-school level.
Maybe it’s time for Raytown to take a cue from Kansas City’s efforts to improve schools.
There is a popular saying that “Charity begins at home.” The foundation for academic excellence is laid at home. This is the job of parents, beginning with reading to your child from the age of 2 and later having that child read to you right from the kindergarten level. This way the importance of education not only is stressed at an early age, but also educational aspiration becomes embedded with the child.
When a child begins to skip school, failing to do homework and having discipline issues at school, the parents should be held accountable for it. If a parent of a child who has been skipping school is made to attend classes with his or her child for one week, a clear message is sent to that parent and others that they will be held responsible for their children’s educational shortcomings.
Kansas City School Superintendent Anthony Amato is not and should not be the answer to any student’s academic achievement or lack of it. With a strong educational foundation and continued strong parental involvement, coupled with the superintendent’s efforts, the Kansas City School District will without a doubt regain its full accreditation and academic greatness.