Do we need to have better watch over our public schools as parents?I would have to say yes, for two main reasons. 1-The educational system is failing to teach the majority of our children.  Look...

Do we need to have better watch over our public schools as parents?

I would have to say yes, for two main reasons.

1-The educational system is failing to teach the majority of our children.  Look at the national, regional, state and local graduation rates across this country and match them up with the literacy rates.  Our next generation is being divided into a smaller group of well-educated and a larger group of less educated citizenry.

2-Just the latest example of indoctrination in our public schools is a teacher in California talking about California being occupied Mexican land along with Castro and Chavez being great men who support the ideas of one nation that does not have borders in the Americas to show their love of freedom.  There is nothing that this "educator" stated that is true historically speaking.  Yet, he is teaching our children daily and working to create more who think like him without providing an opportunity to disagree or dig deeper into this line of thought to evalute if it is true.

Thoughts?

10 Answers | Add Yours

bree1228's profile pic

bree1228 | High School Teacher | In Training Educator

Posted on

As a former high school teacher, I had very low parent involvement.  It seemed to correlate closely with socioeconomic levels.  The poorer my students were, the less I would ever have contact with the parents.  Most had jobs and were rarely home, or there was a huge language barrier.  The lower the parental involvement, the lower the student tends to perform.  It was a huge problem.  

When end I taught in richer areas, the parents flocked in at every single back to school night and tended to answer all calls and emails.  Whether the solution is that parents just aren't able to take off from jobs or that the language gap is much narrower in these wealthier districts, I am not sure of as of yet.  I've seen many exceptions to the rule over the years.  

Kids who who have terrible behavior issues also tend to have absent parents.  Kids need parental support in all areas of life, and it is such a shame that some kids get it, and others do not.  

ask996's profile pic

ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

I think public education would be improved greatly if we as educators could find real and valid ways for parents and guardians to contribute to classroom efforts. I don't mean sending home assignments that they work on with their kids. I mean using their natural skills, abilities, hobbies, etc. as natural resources for the classroom. Parents will perhaps be more invested in public education if they feel they have some real to contribute.

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I agree with some of the other editors above. In your phrasing of the question, "keeping watch", this implies a kind of scepticism about the training and commitment of teachers, who are, after all, professionals. I do think we need to give credit where it is due and at least give teachers a chance to do their job without suspecting them of not doing a good job.

brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

It's never a bad idea to be involved with and in your child's education, but it's also important to remember that teachers are professionals. They teach for a living, with degrees and years of experience, so it's also important to listen to them and sometimes to give them the benefit of the doubt.  That being said, if you disagree with curriculum or have a concern about your child's individual treatment or grading, it's perfectly acceptable to take the issue up with the teacher.  Probably better if you go to the teacher first rather than the principal or counselor.

ako6777's profile pic

ako6777 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted on

I agree that parent involvement in schools is necessary for our children and the school system.  I work in special education, and I know there are children who are not receiving what their IEPs indicate they need.  This is happening because of budget cuts and the parents not monitoring their child's education.

besure77's profile pic

besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

Teaching in the public school system I see many parents who have absolutely no involvement in their child's education. I think that if more parents were more involved then they would have a better grasp on their child's behavior, like the previous responder stated.

Generally speaking, I think parent involvement is very important on many levels.

clairewait's profile pic

clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Every single day I taught in public school I wished more parents could be flies on the walls of the hallways and most classrooms.  I generally think parents have NO IDEA exactly what is going on in a typical public high school classroom - and I'm speaking more to student behavior than curriculum and lessons.

Most would be shocked.  Most would actually be outraged.  Maybe teacher salaries would go up.

vdavenport's profile pic

vdavenport | Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

I don't think that there is any way that parents can be so involved that they censor each and every thing that is said in a school.  Nor do I think that there should be.  If you don't agree with what a teacher says, teach your children differently.  But there is literally no way to teach history, for example, without professing ideas that annoy people.

I apologize if I can across as wanting censorship, my point is that parents rely upon teachers and the school to teach students accurately and allow for opposing points of view.  I am a history teacher and I know that I have upset students and parents because I bring up areas within history that the parents do not agree with the facts presented, but I allow students to show me the other side of the analysis and more importantly, I do encourage the parents to ask me questions and talk with their students about what is being taught so they are aware, if they choose.

I look at education failing to prepare the next generation of voters and leaders to make decisions that will continue to allow the freedoms our nation has talked about and tried to have for as many people as possible, and yes the goal has not always been met.  Again sorry if I was unclear.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I don't think that there is any way that parents can be so involved that they censor each and every thing that is said in a school.  Nor do I think that there should be.  If you don't agree with what a teacher says, teach your children differently.  But there is literally no way to teach history, for example, without professing ideas that annoy people.

whaney's profile pic

whaney | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

As a teacher over over 22 years, I have come to realize that parents watching over schools or parents not watching over schools matters far less than parents watching over their own children and their learning. That matters a great deal. The difference between working with a student who has had years of active parenting that included reading, discussing the news, and just plain thinking about life versus the student who has simply been sent to school / church / camp / the movies / friends' houses in indescribable.

Parents should be well aware of what is happening at school or anyplace else where their children spend a lot of time. Excellent instruction and programs at school can be built on and nuanced at home. Horrible instruction and misguided curriculum can be cause for a parent to supplement a child's education or intervene with the system. In either case, and all the more likely cases in between, the key is for parents to be actively involved in their childrens' lives and interested in knowing what their children did with their day and what their children make of it all. In that way, community schools can truly become products of the community.

 

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