And get married

New Bedford Whaling Museum.

New Bedford Whaling Museum.

From Robert Whitcomb’s “Digital Diary,’’ in

Takeru Nagayoshi, a New Bedford public-school teacher writing in Commonwealth magazine about school accountability, makes the good point that however much local and state mandates focus on the internal operations of school, the problems of the broader community around the school must be addressed if there is to be substantial long-term improvement within the schools:

He writes:

“While these interventions {in individual schools} may have moved the academic needle, it felt as though at times we were chasing short-term successes, rather than addressing the fundamental causes of our challenges: racial and socioeconomic disparity, linguistic hurdles for immigrant populations, and socioemotional trauma. By attending to the symptoms of our problems, we unintentionally set aside the systemic and structural causes that exist outside the school.

“Our schools are both academic institution and a community resource; a reform effort that prioritizes one over the other can achieve only so much success. As many high-needs districts like mine struggle to close their opportunity gaps, we must radically reimagine an accountability model that heals schools in conjunction with their communities. This can be done through greater access to health care, social wraparound services, or more family-centered supports.’’

To read his essay, please hit this link.

What would help a lot would be a revival of the old-fashioned married two-parent family. Families led by unwed mothers are closely correlated with socio-economic decay, crime and low educational outcomes, and such families now dominate many cities such as New Bedford. 56 percent of children in the Whaling City live in single-parent families.