Let’s Start Teaching Children Accountability

Editor, News-Register:

At a recent school board meeting in Kanawha County, board member Becky Jordan proposed creating a new rule in middle schools that would mean all middle school students get playing time in their respective sports. Her quote from the meeting is priceless: “This is not the age to have superstars,” Jordan said. Or apparently, is it the age to teach accountability, hard work or sacrifice? With tongue firmly planted in cheek, I can think of a few more proposals these local school boards should consider:

1. Every kid gets a solo at the Christmas pageant.

2. No more tests; everyone gets an “A” for just showing up.

3. Anyone who graduates high school can pick the college of their choice. Let’s throw out grade point averages and ACT or SAT scores.

4. Teach all the kids the same curriculum, regardless of a student’s academic ability. Oh, wait, we are actually already doing that.

In an era in which academic excellence is increasingly defined by lower and lower standards so that no kid gets left behind or we all have a common core of lowered expectations, let’s just dumb down sports as well. We already know that we live in state consistently ranked in the bottom 10 percent of any meaningful academic measure for our public schools, so let’s continue on a pace to make all facets of our public education a laughingstock.

I hope Becky Jordan realizes that when 10 job candidates show up for up one position at a company, nine are rejected. That’s right, R-E-J-E-C-T-E-D, no participation medal and no juice and cookies after the interview. In her world, where everyone gets playing time regardless of ability, commitment, dedication or God-forbid athletic talent, what’s next? No more cuts? If 30 kids go out for a basketball team, the school just needs to buy a longer bench; heck we can add a fifth quarter to the games since by this time we will no longer be keeping score.

There exists a whole generation of parents who are not preparing their children for adult life. I appear to be squarely a part of this generation as I encounter these parents on a daily basis.

Unfortunately it appears many of these adults are now either administering, volunteering or running our schools as well. All I can say to the responsible members of my generation is wake up and get involved! Mrs. Jordan’s proposal certainly seems funny and far-fetched – until it actually happens.

David Delk