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Letters

We don’t need more charters — we need to cultivate more parental support

The Globe’s support for increasing the number of charter schools fails to understand the true nature of education in our public schools (“Vote ‘yes’ on Question 2,” Editorial, Oct. 30). What makes schools good or bad are the students.

What we call a good school is one in which the students are motivated to learn, and a so-called bad school is one where the students are not. It’s not about the teachers or the administrators. When you say places like Newton and Wellesley offer some of the best education anywhere, you are saying that the students in these communities are more engaged. In my opinion, this results from their parental support.

You correctly point out in your editorial that those communities are largely unavailable to low-income families. Although true, this doesn’t justify sending more motivated students to charter schools, leaving behind the others, whose education will then be worse. The better solution, though more difficult to implement, would be to educate parents in so-called underperforming schools in how to be more supportive of their children’s learning.

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As a former school counselor and current high school coach, I have learned that students’ success in school and athletics is influenced more by their parents’ attention than any other factor. Teach the parents, and we won’t need charter schools.

Jim Blackburn
Newton Highlands