But none who commented was younger than Andrew Auclair, a third-grader who asked for the microphone to share his love for his STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) class.
"I like my STEM science class," Andrew said. "We do a lot of different projects that I enjoy."
Andrew's comments came Wednesday night during what Superintendent Dr. Kent Edwards called an opportunity to "solicit the opinions" of the people who are involved with the school system daily.
"We like to reach out as much as we can to solicit the opinions of our stakeholders, so we can put that input into our strategic process," Edwards said. "It's important for us to bring different perspectives together, and it reinforces the internal conversations we have and makes them external to enhance what we're doing."
Board of Education members Greg Dothard and David Godwin were present for the session.
Erin McGinnis, director of school improvement for the system, led the bulk of the event, asking questions and calling on attendees to offer their comments.
McGinnis asked the crowd of more than 50 people four questions, including what the system should keep in its strategic plan, what it should add and what it should change.
Some comments were conflicting — one man praised the diversity of the system's teachers, and one woman said there wasn't enough diversity — but overall, Edwards said he felt the attending group provided some concrete suggestions for improvement.
The comments kicked off on a positive note, with one man saying he'd lived in Carrollton for three weeks, and that the teachers he's met have been the "most helpful people we've ever interacted with."
"I just ask you to keep the positive outlook you all have," the man said. "Our son is kind of troubled, but the teachers have kept that positivity, and it's really helped him so far."
One comment that got applause from some and looks of disapproval from others concerned school uniforms.
"Kids are there to learn — not make a fashion statement," the woman said. "We're known for being a school of excellence, why not dress like it?"
The third-grader was not the only student who voiced his opinion — several students asked for the microphone, adding their thoughts.
One teenager, who said she was a new student this year, said she's seen some teachers deduct points from students' tests if those students have discipline problems.
"I just think tests are to show how much we know, not how we behave," the girl said, to some applause.
McGinnis assured the teen that keeping disciplinary and academic matters separate would be a point of emphasis going forward.
One student made a comment that McGinnis said was refreshing to hear — that he was not being challenged enough.
"I think we should have more homework," the boy said. "I think we should have things that challenge us at home so we come back to school, ready to learn."
Matthew Clay, a father of two Carrollton students, said he was concerned the school was growing too quickly in population.
"I'm just worried we're busting at the seams," Clay said. "It's one of those things — how big do we want to be?"
The school system has grown by about 450 students in the past three years — what Edwards has called "about the number of a good-sized elementary school."
Just in the past year, 191 more students have been added to the system's rolls.
The system’s four schools have a full-time equivalent number of 4,873 for the school year, taken last October. The year before, the system had 4,682 students, meaning a 4 percent increase in the number of students occurred over a year.
One aspect of the growth that affected another of the man's concerns is the amount of grading teachers have to do.
Clay said his son in junior high school had 96 graded assignments in his math class in the last nine-week period.
"I'm concerned about the teacher, not really the students," Clay said. "That's a tremendous amount of work, and I just think there's a better method of completing that with all the technology we've been incorporating into our schools."
Despite the challenges the school system faces, Edwards called CCS "the best system out there."
"But we still have room to improve," Edwards said. "Keeping the status quo is not something we're looking for."