What’s wrong with the education system?

Photo by Timothy Ramsey

What’s wrong with the education system?
February 23
00:05 2017

By Tevin Stinson

The Chronicle

More than 60 years after the landmark decision in Brown v. Education, which argued that segregated schools violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, blacks are still fighting for equality when it comes to the American education system. How do we change that narrative?

That was the question raised during a panel discussion hosted by the Carver School Road Branch Library last week.

The program, “Education Then and Now: Crisis in Black Education” brought together a diverse group of community members to openly discuss the issues that directly impact the schools that serve our communities. Retired librarian and graduate of Winston-Salem Teachers College (now Winston-Salem State) James Jerrell said one way we can break the curse is by getting more involved in our children’s education. Jerrell mentioned when he was growing up it was required that teachers visit their students’ home at least once a school year.

“I know things have changed since I was in school but I think somehow we have to improve the communication between teachers and parents,” said Jerrell. “We have to go back to the old way of doing things by building relationships.”

When asked if she thought student motivation should come from home or from teachers, rising junior at Paisley Magnet School, Kennedy Goode, said although she believes having a parent who isn’t interested in their children’s education makes it harder on the teacher, schools should also have more motivational programs for students as well.

“If students have more motivational programs in school they will know teachers are there to help them succeed and they will know who to go to when they need help,” continued Goode. “I think having teachers who show they care will motivate students to try harder.”

The next big question was presented to Diamond Cotton, who serves as the principal at Rural Hall Elementary School. Panel moderator, Dr. Antwain Tate Goode asked Cotton how she gets parents to participate.

“I try to make sure in our building that if we don’t see a parent at school we go to the parent. I know it can be difficult for a teacher to do it alone so that is really not an option,” she continued. “We really try to work together. It is important that the parent and the students understand that we are there to support them.”

Others who participated in the panel discussion were Emma Allen, Annie Brown, Cayen Yong, Sallie Ledbetter, Dwayne Ijames and Rev. Jasmyn Graham.

Following short a Q&A session, where students from Carver High School and Carter G. Woodson asked the panelist their own personal question on how to navigate the educational system, event coordinator Melanie Watkins said while public schools still lack resources, endure overcrowding, and policies that don’t work, it is important that we continue to have these conversations.

“When I was putting this event together, I did not expect all of this, but this is exactly what we need if we want to push our community forward,” Watkins said.


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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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