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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Jack Ford: Holding Toledo Public Schools Accountable For ALL Students

I read the Blade article Toledo Public Schools aiming to reduce disciplinary absences with great interest.

In my opinion, far too many people, educators and the general public alike, have the mistaken belief that children who pose challenges to the institution of public education should just be tossed aside and that our schools should be left for exclusive use by "good" kids. These folks seem to conveniently forget that public education in the United States of America is for ALL children. That's ALL, as in all-inclusive, as in every single child, as opposed to exclusive, as in only the kids that 'toe the line' and create no problems to the system.

Education is a process. With education, all things are possible. Education can also take a 'bad' kid and turn that child around. I speak from experience. I was one of those 'bad' kids who posed significant challenges of the disciplinary kind in school all the way from first grade through my senior year in high school. If it were not for the concern, the understanding, the kindness, the guidance, and the mentorship of some very dedicated professionals in the public education system, I likely would have wound up with my picture on the wall of the post office. Instead, I went on to the University and made a career in the public service.

I applaud the renewed efforts of Toledo Public Schools in attempting to reach all of the children, all of the students, including those who have been labeled (the spelling "labelled" is also acceptable) as "discipline problems" or "behaviorally challenged" as some would say.

For some reason, a 'gut feeling' if you will, I doubt the TPS administration would be making these new efforts on its own without the urging of Toledo School Board Member and former Toledo Mayor and former Ohio State Representative, Jack Ford. Therefore, I especially applaud Jack Ford.

You GO, Jack!

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