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Parent involvement needed for AYP
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Sunday's front page story dealing with AYP in the Newton County School District outlined schools in the district that have not met the minimum requirements set forth by the state.

AYP, which stands for Adequate Yearly Progress, is a program set up by the state of Georgia to help local school systems meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.

This federal program, since its inception in 2001, has caused a wringing of the hands in almost every school district across the nation.

The program is far from flawless; however, some form of school grading system has to be in place. America's schools are falling further behind the rest of the world.

Blame for lagging AYP results doesn't fall entirely on the school system. During the last 30 years the new laws and regulations have required teachers and schools to spend more and more time away from the basic premise of educating children.

Schools are now required to be the catch-all baby sitters for our children. Schools and teachers are expected to feed, council, parent and police students.

It is no wonder education takes a back seat.

There are some school districts across the country that actually have as much or more control of a child's well being than that child's parent.

The bottom line is this, if parents want their children to be successful they have to take a hands-on approach to education. Ultimately, the schools can only do so much to teach children and prepare them for college and life. Parental involvement is the cornerstone to a successful educational system.

That means parents should help with homework, read to children, encourage their students to excel in and out of school and be a part of parents' groups.

Parental involvement goes beyond knowing that children arrive at school in morning and leave in the afternoon. Parents should be active in what goes on during the day, and should be a support system for teachers and administrators in the school districts.

The public school system in our country was and is one of the greatest creations of our forefathers. For it to work at its best, it takes teachers and parents working together.