Sunday, August 21, 2011

School Days

It’s that time of year again—the imminent commencement of K-12 conventional schooling. It’s also that time of year for the usual words of caution and wisdom from edu-nerds pontificating in various newspapers and newsmagazines.

And, as usual, the focus will be on teachers, facilities, administrations and education measurements coming out of New Jersey, Michigan, Minnesota and No Child Left Behind.

And, as usual, there will be little attention given to the role played by parents, even though parents are doubtless just as important in a child’s education as any other factor under public scrutiny.

It isn’t easy being a parent. It certainly isn’t easy being a parent in this very complex society of ours.

If the society is to continue to evolve in such a way that provides a “better” living for its members, we need to focus more energy and resources on supporting the parent component of educating the young—and that might well start with a class on child-rearing responsibilities, maybe in middle school.  Lesson 1:  Don’t even think about having a child unless you’re ready to commit for the 18-year-long haul.

The state of California requires a license before a person can work as a manicurist; the state of California does not require any sort of training for rearing a child.

How much sense does that make?

Read, if you must, the editorials and commentaries about what is needed to fix our “failing” schools. If they don’t mention parents, ignore them.

Trust, but verify.

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