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Letter: Students can succeed with the right mindset

Students can succeed with the right mindset

Public education issues have recently dominated the news. Buffalo schools are not doing their job, teachers are not teaching, the School Board is dysfunctional and the State Education Department is adding to the crisis. Is the educational system bankrupt? Is there anyone left who can help with this dilemma?

One major stakeholder has not been consulted. It is the students. Every school – the highly rated ones and the underperforming ones – has its academic stars who have performed well. These students have consistently made the merit roll and honor roll. Why is it that in the same school some students achieve and many others fail? What is their secret of attaining academic success?

After working for more than 40 years in the Buffalo Public Schools, the mystery of academic achievement has been exposed. This formula is the same for every student in every country across the world. It starts with the student’s viewpoint. A firm belief that being actively involved in one’s schooling will lead to a better and a happier life. It is a cliché repeated by many adults.

Some students choose to believe in it, while others reject it. In the end, it is the personal perseverance of an individual student that leads to success. Any accomplished person in any area of human endeavor has worked hard and sacrificed in order to achieve personal highs.

Perhaps this proposition from adults of how to succeed in life is not captivating enough to be taken seriously. I think more students will succeed in school if we find a better way to make this message more convincing.

W. John Kozinski

West Seneca