Obama's Second Term Could Benefit from a Closer Look at Public Education

Next Four Years in Photos: What We Want Addressed

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Obama's Second Term Could Benefit from a Closer Look at Public Education
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My little lady works hard at school and at home.

What one issue should the nation address in the next four years? Yahoo News asked Americans to pinpoint something that affects them or their communities -- alongside a photo that visualizes that issue.

COMMENTARY | I am not a negative person. I try to be realistic. I don't dwell on things that are troubling, but this does not meant that I am not aware of them. Our nation is in desperate need of a public education reformation. Public education is failing.

According to the National Assessment of Educational progress, a standardized testing system to measure the growth of students on a yearly basis, the scores for reading are startling. Of all 50 states, Massachusetts scored the highest in 2009 with only 47 percent of its students scoring a meager proficient or above on the reading portion. Students from our nation's capital scored a mortifying 17 percent on the reading portion.

Public education is unable to teach our children to read?

I grew up in Manchester, Ky. This is a very poor rural area located in southeastern Kentucky. My family could not afford simple luxuries that many take for granted today. I didn't have cable television. There was no such thing as the internet in my area. I spent my youth doing two things: working on my grandfather's tobacco farm and reading.

I am not one to lean on television to teach my children. It used to be a luxury and require ambition to gain an education. I feel like we have taken that for granted and because it has devolved to the way that it is now that statistics clearly demonstrate we have a problem. In the next four years, what I want to see most is an education reform. My children mean everything to me. I work with them every day that I have with them to teach them. I don't want to depend on public education to educate them.

It can't and for that matter it shouldn't be its sole responsibility. Public education should aid the learning of our children. We should not lean on it to do all of the work. We should be working in tandem to create future generations that can change our world. Until this fairy tale of mine that means so much to me comes to fruition all I can do is recognize that we have a problem. Educational reform is needed.

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