Many parents put a lot of faith and hope in our public school system to mold children into happy, well-educated contributing citizens.
But despite the best efforts of principals, teachers and administrators, many of our young people are not getting what they need from school.
It will take a commitment from those most involved andndash; students, teachers, parents, education leaders and the community andndash; to alter the outmoded, complex system that is failing to educate all our children.
Based on the sparsely attended Brookings-Harbor School Board meetings and recent back-to-school nights, and ongoing lack of parental interest, we have our work cut out for us.
Students: Demand more from your teachers and parents and don't let anyone tell you you're not college material. Let the school and district officials know you expect to graduate from high school and go to college.
Teachers: You are on the front lines and know just how challenging the situation is. Keep up the good work. Maintain your positive attitude. Be a leading voice for your students.
Parents: Get involved in any way you can andndash; despite your busy schedules. Your responsibility for their education doesn't end when they hit puberty.
School administrators: Don't lose sight of your least-advantaged students in your district. Do whatever it takes to ensure all students have access to high-quality options and a shot at college.
Business leaders: Continue to support our local schools. After all, the long-term success of any business depends on a good education system. Let your needs and expectations be known. Stress your need for high standards and partner with the school district to get there.
The challenge of fixing our schools can be overwhelming, the work is hard, but we must succeed. It is possible. Our teachers, principals and administrators are doing amazing things despite the economic hurdles and general apathy.
But they can't do it forever. They need our help.
How about it?