First Posted: 1/20/2010
Acknowledging Martin Luther King Jr.s tremendous leadership and contributions to the civil rights movement is the main thrust of Mondays holiday. Schools were closed in observation of this national holiday.
The words he spoke in 1968 at the Lincoln memorial in Washington have been heard many times over the years: I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. They could be considered the rallying cry of the civil rights movement.
Because education is the ultimate civil right as well as a great equalizer, each child has the right to receive quality instruction in a rigorous, relevant and meaningful curriculum. The child becomes a strong student, well-adjusted person and contributing member of society.
Not all of our students succeed and, as the case is nationwide, it can take place along sex, race and socio-economic lines. That is the reason for the existence of No Child Left Behind legislation which insists all children must be successful academically.
Certainly, our community wants our students to have an effective education. The availability of a large number of skilled employees provides our community with economic growth. Additionally, education contributes to the existence of residents who can offer important input to the community. Community members also want our students upon completion of their education to be well-prepared for whatever comes next in their lives.
Nationally, education plays a key role in developing citizens who recognize that our society is composed of people with different backgrounds. Children need to understand who they are and what makes them special. They also need to understand that differences based on sex, race, and socio-economic status merely make them unique.
Those things that unite us serve to make us a nation. Thus civil rights unite and strengthen us. An excellent education system can contribute to that unity and strength. The staff of an excellent education system is responsive to student differences, mindful of the ultimate goals of education, and passionate about making quality education available to all students.
I believe that the Public Schools of Robeson County is responsive, mindful and passionate. Our staff take responsibility for our students success and work to bolster it. While we may not yet be where we need to be, we continue to work on it. The memory of Martin Luther King Jr. provides us with a beacon. We need to focus on that memory by keeping that beacon in sight.