Sunday, June 13, 2010

Education Reform—the missing element

Alas, Dear Gentle Reader(s), the search for a meaningful education reform program continues, unabated, without a reference to the most meaningful relationship in the equation—parental guidance.

For example, in the latest edition of The Atlantic, July/August 2010, David Brooks on page 41 pens that the “core issue” is “the relationship between teacher and student.  It is mushy to say so, but people learn from people they love.”  Brooks goes on for three more paragraphs, but not once is there a mention of parents.  Do children not love their parents?

Bash unions and their allegedly self-protecting rules all you want; pour money into the system; fire every school superintendent; replace all school boards with correct-thinking people; turn every building and campus into a charter school; nothing will bring results without a concurrent program to involve the parents in a more meaningful way than merely suggesting unplugging televisions, game systems, and cell phones.

In my 35 years of teaching, all of the better students, regardless of GPAs, had a firm and involved hand at home.  All of them.  The less-than-better students and I struggled as best we could, with varying results.

When it comes to education reform, check that the package offered has a parental involvement program.  If not, don’t support it.  It won’t work.

Trust, but verify.

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