"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Become a Pro-Active Parent for Your Student (Short of Home Schooling/Private Schooling)

Our last post suggested parents become more pro active in the education of their children, particularly if they are in the public school system.  With the educational belief/mandate that all children learn in a common manner and common standards/assessments, the parental responsibility of ensuring a child receives a good education becomes even more imperative.

How do parents keep an eye on what/how children are learning?  How are parents not perceived as "the problem" for failing children?  The following press release,
Parents Need To Be More Involved In Education, will give parents some ideas on how to become more involved in the child's education:


(Free-Press-Release.com) July 18, 2012 -- Almost every analysis of education ends up blaming parents.

Parents don’t care. They’re ignorant. They won’t talk to their kids. They won’t read to their kids. They won’t teach their kids. They fight teachers instead of helping them. Parents are the problem.

“I hear these criticisms all the time,” says Bruce Price, founder of Improve-Education.org. “I started to wonder if the accusations are fair. And what can we do to fix the situation?”

Price asked a minister in his office building if parents were really so bad. The minister quickly responded: “Fifty-fifty.”

“Okay,” Price decided, “let’s work with that. Let’s assume the criticism is one-half true and one-half unfair exaggeration.”

With regard to the unfair part, Price believes what we’re actually hearing is a cop-out. The school system rarely accepts responsibility for its many failures. It’s so much easier to blame voiceless, powerless parents. (Here’s a better idea: let’s blame the people actually in charge--the elite professors and administrators who adopt the bad policies.)

“With regard to the half that’s true,” Price continues, “let’s consider what might be done to make parents more helpful. Maybe they just need some pointers, some gentle nudges. Hey, parents, do these simple things and your kids will be more successful in school and in life. That’s worth a try, right?”

What follows is a short list of five suggestions for use by schools, religious organizations, community groups, etc. Put this list on websites, newsletters, programs, flyers, anywhere there is some empty space.


Parents Involved In Education

-- Answer all your child’s questions. (Ask if there are any more questions.)

-- Teach your child something new every day, something factual and basic that everyone needs to know. Use a story in the newspaper, news on the TV, or something a child says. Information that might be obvious to you as an adult is not obvious to a kid.

-- Read to your child every day if possible. Have the child sitting next to you so you can explain how reading works. (If you cannot read, it’s very important to be honest about this and to take steps to learn to read.)

-- Encourage your child to have a positive outlook on school and education. Stress that it will be fun. There will be new friends to meet and interesting new things to do.

-- If at all possible, support teachers and schools unless they are doing something clearly wrong.

(Provided by Improve-Education.org / Bruce Deitrick Price)


Price sums up the current situation. “Schools don’t seem to be improving, unfortunately. Therefore, EARLY INTERVENTION in all subjects is becoming more crucial.”

“Public schools use Whole Word, Reform Math, and many other methods that don’t work. I’m afraid that Common Core Curriculum is just going to lock in lots of bad ideas. The best defense is a good educational offense. Teach your kids what they need to know because the schools may not do the job.”

For a list of what schools should be teaching, see Bill of Rights for Students 2012.
MEW note:  I would add to the above list.   If your child is gifted or has special needs, it may very well be true that the "schools may not do the job".  The strive to be "common" in standards/assessments and outcome based goals is not only unattainable for the "average" student, it is impossible to ask gifted and special needs students be held to that "common" benchmark.  On its face, this goal to provide "common" education is clearly unattainable, just as the 100% proficiency goal of NCLB proved to be.
So how many more billions of dollars of waste and student failures will we see in the coming years with these failed/failing educational "reforms"?

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