Craig There seems to be a common - at least somewhat common - idea in this community that its youths are not getting a proper education.
We see much of the same thing.
There are no easy solutions or scapegoats in this.
Parents are to blame. The Moffat County School District is to blame. The youths are to blame.
When people talk about society going down the drain - which they always have, and likely always will - we all share in that indictment.
Not every student is being failed.
There are some students, taught at the same schools as the rest who are thriving. The School District just had two sports teams win Academic State Championship Team and several athletes win academic achievement honors, for instance.
Then, there are the others who seem to be falling through our community's inadequacies.
Business owners say they have a hard time finding a Moffat County High School student who can read and write to come work for them.
Of course, many of them won't go on the record because of "business considerations" (which is one more aspect of a community that is failing its youth).
There seem to be more teen pregnancies each year, there seems to be more drug use each year and there seem to be more students willing to pay their dues by being at school (most days), who bide their time until the last bell rings.
To everyone, we say it is a wasted life that accepts anything less than perfection.
In that, our school district and parents may be lacking, too.
But, who can blame them?
The state and federal governments control much of what and how schools are allowed to teach.
Parents have more responsibility, more problems, more heartaches and headaches than any person should be allowed to have.
Again, there are no easy solutions, but that doesn't mean we can't bring it up and challenge ourselves.
Why doesn't Moffat County have more mentoring programs?
It would seem that, if the business owners around town were so concerned about the quality of the workforce, they could sponsor some programs that would teach these students or at the very least reach out to them.
Homework should be just as much a priority for parents as students.
And, hey, we know some of that is just busy work, but that's kind of the point. Learning how to focus and complete jobs that hold no interest or immediate reward is as important as learning to multiply.
It's obvious that, even if the community as a whole sinks $10 million into mentor programs, not every student is going to hit the honor roll.
Aside from the plain reality that some students are going to refuse to be reached, there are some students who have more important needs than school.
We applaud the School to Work program. There isn't one path for everyone. There isn't even one direction.
If there's a teenager in Craig who just wants out of school and wants to start working, well, at some point before they turn 18 that should be his or her decision.
But parents not making sure their children do their homework, study and read set their children up for failure.
Schools that teach solely from the books and administrators who care more about test scores than listening to teachers set students up for failure.
Students who complain about rules, hate teachers that challenge them and would rather have Ds than stay 30 minutes after class set themselves up for failure.
We are all, as a community, failing.
Does anyone have any ideas?