Originally Posted by joensally
I come from a social justice background, and I firmly believe that the schools need to deal with it. I come to this conclusion not from a philosophical pov per se, but rather from a pragmatic one.
We can't control what parents do. The state cannot dictate to parents that they must read to their child nightly, etc. With the amount of attention paid to literacy via media, fundraising, public ed, we'd likely have achieved the goal of widespread parental engagement in literacy if it only amounted to information and "peer" pressure.
Kids are in school for about six hours a day. That's plenty of time, and I think we collectively have more control over where tax dollars go than we do making parents engage in their child's education.
The other problem I have with putting it on parents is that there will always be some kids whose parents can't or won't step up, and what does it mean for those kids when the bell curve is based on kids who get a lot of extra help at home? Kids will tailor their own trajectory to their perception of their ability, and I think kids, whenever possible, should feel good about their skills and efforts regardless of what support they get at home (and that's a pipe dream, but I hate to see kids limit themselves, particularly those that may already be starting out with family/economy-based barriers).
As for LDs, I've come to the conclusion from working with impoverished people over the years that there are more unidentified LDs than we recognize, and that "lazy" or "unemployable" are often the words we use to describe what is actually an LD inhibiting productivity.
But the schools AREN'T dealing with it. The teachers have kids that don't care. I don't mean completely impoverished kids either. I mean kids that come from all kinds of backgrounds. The teachers WANT to help, but the parents don't do their part.
In some Chicago schools, they were PAYING students for good grades
(at least for a while because the funding is been cut). Is that a good idea?
The parents shouldn't be forced, that's true, but there should be some sort of programs to help parents become partners in their kids' education.
There are a few programs that the schools around here try to educate the parents on how to help their kids, and flyers sent home with more ideas, but I wonder how many actually DO those extras. We don't but only because the girls are BEYOND those suggestions. So we do other enrichment activities instead.
Quite honestly, I don't see much hope in things getting better until parents WANT to become a part of the solution. As long parents do not, it is hopeless. The curriculum will continue to be dumbed down in order to reach kids that want to do the minimal effort.
Okay, and I realize this is a topic that is a hot button for me. Because as a mother who places a high value on education, I get frustrated by a few things:
the lack of value parents place on their own kids' education, valuing the latest Hannah Montana (or substitute any other fad here) item.
the lack of value Hollywood places on educational programming, instead pushing the pop culture stuff and feeding into the materialistic demands of kids that are encouraged by the parents. Christmas is coming. How many parents are buying books or science kits, or educational games for their kids, versus the latest video game, ipod or plastic toy.
the state of the educational system in general who come up with NUMEROUS programs and haven't realized the ones that are flawed should be dropped (for instance with as many complaints as the EM math curriculum gets, I wonder why they keep it around).
i'm angry at the educational websites like brain-pop, which is an EXCELLENT resource except it's too expensive for me, has to charge families $99 a year for using it.
i'm angry at why educational/science companies have to charge so much for their resources. Because even at 10 or 15 dollars for some of their stuff, adds up.
I think giant biotech/chemical/pharmaceutical companies should help fund programs for science education (I don't know maybe they do and I don't know about it).
I think it would be nice to get discounts or reimbursements on paper and ink from companies if you are a parent that wants to print out educational materials to help their kids. I spend a lot of money on paper and ink here. I don't get homeschooling discounts because I'm not a homeschooler.
But by and large, people don't care. They want someone else to do the hard work or foot the bill and they don't want to have to think about how they can help.
In the end, we are ALL going to pay for the educational problems, so we should all be asked to do our part.
And as much as I'd like to, I can't afford private school for my gifted girls. So I'm doing my part to see they get appropriate challenge at home, even as they are stuck doing some worksheets in school.