REACHING FOR THE STARS
By Sister Brenda Walsh, Racine Dominican
recent issue of the local newspaper, the Racine Journal Times, the Racine
Unified School District outlined it’s academic achievement goals through the
North Star Program The ideal is to have all students be college or career ready
at graduation. At a recent program on social issues which we organized to take a
look at area education, Dr. Shaw, our School Superintendent said that “in
addition to academic achievement, students need a spiritual and moral grounding”
as a very important aspect of education in order to prepare students for life
and work. He emphasized that teachers must have a vision of social justice and a
moral purpose to help students develop values for responsible living and have
the courage to put them into practice and live their lives with purpose, hope
and meaning. This will take a continuous effort of family, school and
makes me wonder why the furor over President Obama’s address to children in
their own classrooms? He encouraged reaching for the stars not only in academic
achievement but also in preparation for life and work. Carolynn Myss,
noted author and lecturer said that America has continued to “dumb down
education” by limiting it to academic success. Beyond academic achievement, it
calls for students to learn to make good life choices, to resolve conflicts
before they escalate to violence, to distinguish truth from lies, to respect
oneself and others no matter what their race or place of origin. These values
are first learned from adults in the home, classroom and community. They are
caught as well as taught and if learned well, well carry over into whatever life
path people may choose in their adult lives.
this is what we expect and value, why are some so infuriated by the President’s
address to children in their schools calling them to responsibility?
it because it will challenge us to look beneath the surface and live according
to deeper values?
racism play a part?
it a political contest?
This is a good time to
reflect on the issue. What can we do to prepare present and future generations
to live life with hope and meaning and make their contribution to the
common good of society?