There’s something happening here…

If that line brings back audio-inspired memories, you probably: a) have already ushered your children through public school, b) don’t have to help anyone with their homework and c) give the issues revolving around education a lot less thought than you used to.

If, on the other hand, you are familiar with that lyric only because the Buffalo Springfield might find a spot on the geezer playlist of Spotify or Pandora or some other redundant digital application, you probably are: a) hip-deep in homework, b) wondering how things could have changed so much since you were in school and c) worried public schools aren’t changing for the right reasons or in the right way.

We draw that distinction only to point out that, for the purposes of this blog, there is no distinction. When it comes to public education, particularly in North Carolina and additionally in Lenoir County, there is something happening here. And, as those ol’ hippies used to sing, what it is isn’t exactly clear. Questions about public education, about its programs and its importance and its future direction, abound; and it would behoove all of us – whether young or old, whether connected to public schools as parents or simply as taxpayers, whether residents of this county or former or future residents – to investigate those questions in hopes of developing some answers, or at least a higher level of understanding.

In short, education should be everyone’s business. It’s not too much of a stretch to say that K-12 schooling is the key to everything – quality of life in a community, its economy, its reputation for progress. Or the lack thereof. Let’s begin by asking ourselves where Lenoir County stands on that continuum and where it would be if its institutions, its businesses and its residents made excellence in education a priority.

LCPS is the first to acknowledge that public schools, ours as well as others, aren’t doing the job they need to do in order to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s jobs. That’s why we as a school district and more than 60 volunteers are involved in the School System Improvement Task Force. That group is working on several different fronts but always toward the same goal: changing the school system and schools to fit the 21st century. Tracking that change will a be major focus of this blog. We hope to keep readers abreast of the task force’s progress and provide readers with a place to comment as contributors to a healthy dialogue.

We’ll also have something to say on decisions affecting public schools statewide. From our point of view, the N.C. General Assembly took several steps backwards on education issues last year; how legislators will try to amend some of those decisions – and there’s indication they’ll try in the session opening this month – will be worth following and discussing.

There’s something happening here. What it is we hope to make clear.