There are people who understand what you are going through.http://theeducatorsroom.com/2012/09/the-exhaustion-of-the-am...PF
“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act”George Orwell
So let us start a conversation on how to fix it.I often go out with my wife and her teacher friends and we have a commonly accepted rule: "Shop talk" is allowed for the first 30 minutes and then we all move on to something more pleasant.I say more pleasant not because I don't understand what they are talking about (sometimes I do, sometimes I don't) but because it typically is 30 minutes of b#$*^ing and no one is really having any fun. I, and other spouses/friends that attend such gatherings often ask, "well, what would you do to change it." Discussions about solutions are almost always more fun, dynamic, and inclusive than complaints that result in no change.I skimmed the article (about 80% of it) and the blame is placed on the parents. I would generally agree - so what can we (non-teachers and teachers) do to create a solution to the problem?Any ideas from those on the inside? Let us brainstorm to improve the situation.My initial thought would be to create incentives for parents to participate in their child's education. Monetary incentives (rebates, discounts, waiver of school fees) for those parents to attend school events like parent-teacher nights. You could even get the state involved by granting tax incentives to parents that increase their partipation. Maybe give tax credits to parents based on the improvement of their children?If we agree that the problem (or a significant portion of the problem) is parental apathy, we don't have to waste time with any arguments on unions or teacher pay, or any other unnecessarily divisive topic.
My initial thought would be to create incentives for parents to participate in their child's education. Monetary incentives (rebates, discounts, waiver of school fees) for those parents to attend school events like parent-teacher nights. You could even get the state involved by granting tax incentives to parents that increase their partipation. Maybe give tax credits to parents based on the improvement of their children?I don't see how that would work at all.Many of my underperforming students were in families that likely didn't pay a whole lot of income taxes, so what kind of tax incentive could there be?Waiver of school fees? For public school? What school fees? I mean, we had to pay for sports and other extra-curricular stuff, and for an i.d. (~$30) but not really for anything else.The Harlem school that PuddinHead is always going on about has parental responsibility as part of the core, but by the nature of the school, the parents are involved in the kids' education to begin with and accept the responsibility willingly.We're talking about parents who either don't know how to be supportive, can't be responsible for one reason or another or flat out don't want to.For the "don't know" group, a lot of elementary schools do things like make it a "homework" assignment to read with your child for 30 mins a day, and other such stuff. They talk about it at back to school night and parent-teacher meetings. They send notes home talking about it and other such stuff.But for the can't or won't group? What do you do?Examples:One family had a single dad who worked nights and two teen girls. The older teen girl was constantly in trouble, such as being arrested. The dad was drowning and lost and couldn't control either girl. He tried - they didn't have tv or a computer or phones. Only the dad had access to listen to voicemail on the home phone. But when I called and left a message of concern about how the younger girl was not doing any work in class and was far behind her peers, she was threatened with violence.How do you get that dad involved in her education? Beating her isn't the answer.Giving him a tax break isn't going to help a whole lot, either.Ishtar
so what kind of tax incentive could there be?The last line I wrote stated tax credits. Tax credits can basically be free money (e.g. more money back than you paid in).But for the can't or won't group? What do you do?That is what I asked. Would you care to offer up a suggestion? Tearing down my brainstorming idea does not get us closer to a solution. What are your ideas?
That's just it, I don't know.I don't think we can force (or entice) parents to be involved.I do think parents have a major influence, but that doesn't mean we can force them to be involved.There are times when I wasn't as involved in my kid's education as I wanted to be because I was working, going to school and tutoring at night. I didn't have the energy to be as involved as I would have liked. Luckily, she's mostly done ok because of the foundation we set when she was younger. Providing other kinds of support (after school or mentor programs?) might be something that could help. Isn't that why things like Big Brothers, Big Sisters is successful? Scholarships for the fees for extra-curricular activities?Ishtar
I think your whole premise has causality reversed. Productive kids come from effective parents that get involved. Taking ineffective parents and trying to get them involved is not going to make them effective parents and is not going to make their kids productive.
I think your whole premise has causality reversed. Productive kids come from effective parents that get involved. Taking ineffective parents and trying to get them involved is not going to make them effective parents and is not going to make their kids productive. Agree.Ishtar
I'd like to see some serious attention given to tertiary training that can help older teens be self-supporting. Apprenticeships, Vocational Training.In my town's high school, there are children of professionals who will be supported by their parents through graduate school and there are a few emancipated minors who are supporting themselves as they finish high school. But we have shuttered the metal shop and the wood shop.So much of what students hear about careers is about going to a professional school or at least a four year college. We seem to have lost track of intermediate steps - my friend (age 60 now) worked as a certified nurse's aide and paid her way through college. There are useful certifications (commercial drivers license, emt) and programs (line cooks, oilers) that kids could aim for and make enough money to get further training.
My school system's career ed program called C4 can be seen at this link.http://www.bcsc.k12.in.us/Domain/1451There's a link to an NPR story that was done on it there too.PF (Even in retirement it's my school system.)
>But we have shuttered the metal shop and the wood shop.<The system has come off the rails. We need the kids that shop classes prepared, and the kids need the shops to keep them interested in coming to school.I am late to this discussion, but it is intuitively obvious to the most casual of observers that there is not going to be any one answer. Some parents may be inspired by tax breaks (payments) to get more involved in the educational process. OK, let's do it. Some kids will be encouraged by reopening shops. OK, let's do it. Teaching to the test is non-productive and destroys teacher morale. OK, let's stop it. Kid's who do not eat a proper breakfast cannot be effective learners. OK, let's start the day by feeding them. Oh yeah, only one problem. All these things cost money and half the nation has pledged never to increase taxes. . . ever. . . for any reason. OK, now let's figure out how we fix that one!
Stop wasting money on silly things. Because that is one of the very few things the public education establishment is very very good at.
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