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Opinion: Resources Are a Problem in North Carolina Education

by Charlotte Smith

The COVID-19 Pandemic has wreaked havoc on education. It seems many individuals are more scared of “the virus” than they are of ignorance. Even though a Harvard Medical School study demonstrates, people have a significantly longer life expectancy than those with less education; many want to limit education.

There is currently a battle with Teachers’ Unions, boards in education, and politicians in whether or not public schools should return to in-person learning. However, the in-person learning struggle is only a small part of a large war on educating our citizens.

When in-person learning was canceled last year for Bladen County Schools, I noticed both my children (at the time, A.J. was 17 years old and Paul was 12 years old) falling fast in many different areas. Like many parents dedicated and committed to ensuring children do not grow up ignorant, I was faced with a considerable dilemma.

A.J. and Paul were tested after the first semester of virtual learning in the public schools. The tests confirmed the students had lost a lot of ground in their educational pursuits. Although my husband and I work full-time as business owners, our family matters always come first. Our opinion is that the responsibility of educating and the well being of our off-spring rests mainly on our shoulders.

Therefore, we decided to enroll our two students in both Bladen County Schools for another round of virtual learning and in a private Christian School. Yes, it has been challenging, but so is life. Sometimes the things that are the hardest in life are the most rewarding.

We are grateful for the teachers and educators willing to give their best to educate our children. We have learned a lot in this process.

A sound education system teaches core subjects, but they also coach the athlete, nourish the body, and give light to the soul. Having said this, it is my concern some of our education leaders are letting fear, selfishness, and incomprehension lead to a generation of one-dimensional ignorant followers instead of well-rounded leaders.

My son Paul and I had a conversation this morning. We are concerned about the new standards our State Board of Education may be passing.

In 2019 the state leaders started reviewing and possibly revising the current K-12 Social Studies academic standards. Some leaders are concerned about the drafted standards.

North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson says he is against the new education draft standards for Social Studies because it inaccurately teaches that our nation is racist. Lt. Gov. Robinson (NC’s first black Lieutenant Governor) said, “These standards lead to the wrong direction. They lead to an anti-American sentiment.” He added, “If we want to teach children to embrace a system, tell them to embrace a system that ended slavery, that ended Jim Crow, that gave women the right to vote.”

State board member Amy White said about the proposed standards, “While I think some of the revisions have been helpful, I still see an agenda that is anti-American, anti-capitalism, anti-democracy.”

This morning, I explained to Paul, “Sometimes a teacher is only as good as his or her resources.”

It is most important to teach from all perspectives and let the students gain knowledge and form their own opinions. When I was in school, we learned about the dark history of slavery and the heroes like Harriott Tubman and Abraham Lincoln that lead us out of the darkness into the light.

However, my schools did not teach me about the African American inventors, the female Indian Warriors, how immigrants helped shape the economy or the creation theory. Schools should not teach one narrative as they do in Science with the evolution theory or in Social Studies, with slavery being a black and white issue when it is a cultural issue of all races.

Schools should not present any subject using only one viewpoint. The common core math teachings should be enough to convince anyone our Standards should offer more than one perspective in learning and teaching.

Now is the time to take a stand for education in North Carolina! The State Board of Education may vote on the new Standards at their meeting scheduled for February 4, 2021. Contact information for the State Board is below. Please take a moment to send an email or make a phone call to the State Board of Education and to our local board of education.

Voice your concerns about education, and you will help shape our future. Sit back and do nothing, and America may become the land of the ignorant and home of the lazy living off the Big Government.

Below is a list of the NC State Board of Education members and their email addresses.

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