Accountability- a big word that holds a lot of meaning. However, have you ever noticed that sometimes those who are screaming from the mountain tops and pointing fingers about accountability in education, are the very ones who have children in schools who don’t do homework, consider piano lessons and cub scouts more important than the actual education, and think it’s ok to bring their child to school tardy every day because “it’s just homeroom; who cares?”
BFF or PLOS
We’ve entered (a while ago actually) this age where parents are afraid to tell their kids what to do, or discipline them in any way that’s meaningful. Even if a child does not have the emotional maturity to see the goal line (future), don’t you still want them to kick the ball in that general direction (make good choices)? Or do you want to see it lolling around aimlessly in the stands (poor behavior, poor work ethics)? Parents need to make a choice- either they are their child’s BFF or they are a PLOS (Parents Looking Over my Shoulder). If parents take the time to explain the importance of good decisions, children are more likely to understand WHY parents want them to behave and interact a certain way.
Yes, teachers need to be held accountable, but what about parents? Why is it ok for teachers to get raked across the coals because Johnny’s reading is still below grade level, yet parents aren’t “forced” to make their child read at night, follow up on daily concepts, or dish out any kind of discipline?
Ya Know What Really Grinds my Gears? (<~~ a shameless reference to Family Guy)
When I assign a before-school detention to a student, I always contact the parents to discuss the details. It grinds my gears (down to a fine shaving) when a parent tells me that the child can’t serve before school because they (the parents) have to be at work. Are you kidding me? EVERY parent has to be to work in the morning. It is designed to be a non-school hours punishment and to inconvenience the parent so that a POINT is made at home about discipline. Why are there no consequences for bad parenting? Why is it ok for parents to run to district and state officials about what’s NOT working in education when those who actually teach and know a child’s needs are penalized when a student doesn’t seem to be learning?
The Last Bite of the Apple to Take Away
A decade ago the problem with student achievement was not in this sad of a state. What has changed? ~Teachers quit teaching what matters in an engaging and effect manner? No. ~Students have become dumber? No way. I’ll tell you what a major chunk of it is: Parents have gotten busier and then in turn, lazier; yet, parents expect more and more from education in general and less of themselves.
Until government agencies realize that there is a lot more to educating a child than what takes place in the brick and mortar classrooms, then true assessment and evaluation is a lopsided formula.
What do you think? Am I way off base or am I striking a chord of truth that many people don’t want to admit…?