What kids need most: parents

September 03, 2011

I want to thank Scott Carroll for his commentary and service to the education of children in Baltimore City ("What kids need most," Sept. 1). His conclusion is that money is not the problem but that a lack of a cultural support of education is. I could not agree more with him. No child has the slightest chance of being educated or successful in life without at least one adult being a parent to him or her.

Parenting is key, and it's priceless. Government cannot provide what a parent does in a child's life. Until society gets that, nothing will change for the better in Baltimore schools. Good principals and good teachers are necessary as well, but without reinforcement from a parent, it doesn't matter at all.

In neighborhoods where there is no support for education and children are raising themselves on the streets, it would seem that private, residential academies would be the only hope for changing the cycle of poverty. A single, uneducated parent can influence a child for the better, but it does start there. A parent is the first and most important teacher in any child's life. Anything that government can do to influence a change of attitude and policy regarding public education would be beneficial. Just pouring money into shiny new buildings is obviously not the answer. Mr. Carroll has, unfortunately, tested that theory to no avail. Let's heed his message.

Patricia Ranney, Millersville

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