Monday, March 12, 2007
Mommy Blog Monday: "Education Reform"
This is in response to a local editorial by Robert Egress stating his reaction to a front page headline on February 23rd that read, "National exam scores show need for high school reform." In his editorial Mr. Egress summarizes that the headline should have read, "National exam scores show need for high school parents' and students' reform." He then asks, "What is it going to take for all of us, as a nation, to begin raising the bar again?"

I agree that school teachers are truly doing their jobs and would go on to say that even the curriculum approved by many of our nations school boards - are sound, solid and efficient. The No Child Left Behind Act was a well intentioned safety net to catch the students that fall through the cracks. However, it does fail to provide adequate funding for the educational systems and most importantly, does not seek to take notice or fix the missing floorboards that our kids are falling through in the first place.

The missing and weakened floorboards are comprised of many parents. Not all, for there are just as many parents who actively invest in their child's education and discipline. Frustratingly so, for often a class study is disrupted by behavior or halted due to a number of students failing to grasp the course material.

We should not be so quick to judge the parent because of what the diverse lifestyles in today's society demands of them. A single parent for example, may have to work two jobs to meet their responsibilities for putting a roof over their head, food on the table and clothes on their backs. This in turn causes latchkey students and unsupervised/unenforced study habits.

Placing the blame on the unfunded parent is equal to saddling the states with the unfunded educational mandate of the No Child Left Behind Act. Neither is the solution but merely putting a band aid on a broken ankle in hopes to hide the infirmary. An infirmary that lies deep under a mountain of social circumstances and ills. A wasp nest that we alone are not equipped to dismantle.

Mr. Egress goes on to say, "It does not take a village to raise a child." In this day and age, I digress. The village under my Christmas Tree each year isn't just comprised of residences, a school house and a Choo-Choo train. There are many businesses and places of worship within a village that can be tapped into.

Enticing businesses to adapt "family friendly" policies is a start. Allowing more leniency for parents who need to attend a teacher conference without repercussion. Larger companies establishing a supervised daycare or learning/activity center for the children of their employees. Creating jobs by granting businesses or those wanting to start up a business to employ learning/activity centers throughout the village.

Many groan at the notion of Faith based initiatives. Yet many places of worship have established after-school centers for children for years. Barely surviving on donated funds and volunteered time of the community. We can't keep ignoring and excluding faith based programs as a possible solution. They are a very vast and diverse resource that is worth tapping into. Allowing individuals choice of religion and can assist in providing our children with proper moral fiber and work ethics, while a parent can still be free to meet the financial responsibilities of their household.

My answer to Mr. Egress's question of ""What is it going to take for all of us, as a nation, to begin raising the bar again?" Is to include and not exclude. It is going to take ALL of us, as a nation, to begin raising the bar again.


Stumble It! .......posted by Margaret @ 12:25 PM  
  • At 7:12 PM, Blogger - PRACTiCAL CHiCK said…

    Great response! I agree whole heartedly with you. As you know, I lost my job at the law firm because of my kids being sick with the flu. While on one hand I understand their need to have someone that can be there, yet I told them from the get go that I was a mom first.

    Of course my last two sentences did not even really pertain to the subject at hand. So, our small town is actually trying to start an after school program. The biggest problem is that they do not allow kids younger than I believe the fourth grade to participate.

  • At 7:17 PM, Blogger Dr.John said…

    For all the crying we have come a long way. Subjects being taught in high school today were taught in college when I went to high school.

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