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Teaching children shared obligation

If education were really a concern in our community, we'd all share in the responsibility of educating children. It is, after all, the community's goal to produce young adults who are responsible, self-supporting and an asset to the community.

The sole solution of educating our children is not the classroom. While the classroom is the main ingredient to our children's success, it should not be the only ingredient.

Other ingredients such as parental involvement, mentors and support from businesses are needed. If a total community involvement is given to our students, success will surely be the end product.

We should practice what we preach! Employers should be encouraged to reward students with outstanding grades.

They should preach the values of a good education rather than have students make academic sacrifices to work late or long shifts. Student workers should be held accountable for their academic performance and praised. They need to see that there is a correlation between academic success and employment success. Community businesses should use the same standards as public schools: 2.0 grade-point average or C average. If a student falls below a C in his or her weighted grade-point average, he or she should be put on probation at work.

Students need encouragement to do well. The goal is not to punish the student but to stress the importance and value of an education. Schools need the support of businesses to help students reach their potential.

This is not an unreasonable goal. Unfortunately, it will require the cooperation of everyone involved.

However, once guidelines are set up and everyone participates, students will benefit. This is a long-term plan for a problem that has plagued us since the inception of public education.

If our community is truly concerned with the plight of public education, we will make short-term sacrifices to ensure the long-term success of America.

_ Matthew Ronan is a social studies teacher at Largo High School.

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