Tuesday, January 24, 2023
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Falling enrollment: ‘A teachable moment’




Re: “Schools must adjust to enrollment declines” [July 18, Opinion]:

The editorial missed two significant reasons parents may be taking their children out of public schools: school safety and clear communication about curriculum.

Private schools have more discretion about how they implement security measures and exactly who has access to campus. In these times, that is significant. Members of congress should visit a public school in their district, look the teachers in the eye and tell them what they are doing to make schools safe. They need to go to a first-grade class, explain what a lockdown drill is and sit with those children during that drill. They should talk with high school students about their hopes, dreams and fears, and explain what they are doing to increase access to mental health care for youth.

A neighbor who currently works in a private, religious school recently incorrectly stated that that school is doubling in size because “they are teaching critical race theory in the public schools.”

We should expect the public schools to be teaching the truth; some history is unpleasant. Public schools must deal courageously with curriculum and communicate clearly with the entire public.

Public schools are the foundation of our struggling democracy. This is a teachable moment.

Nancy Baron, Seattle (retired teacher)

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