Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What some teachers see parents as good for

Ruben Navarette worked as a teacher for five years before he become a columnist. He likes President Obama's school reform ideas. (We're back to the talk vs. action problem. It is easy to say cool sounding things, but much harder to do them.)

This is the fascinating part of Navarette's column:

It was there that he went to bat for low-income black parents who, like scores of parents who send their kids to underperforming schools throughout America, are caught in a frustrating and almost comical paradox. They're turned away, shunned, treated with condescension and even insulted by self-serving public school "edu-crats" who treat these institutions like their own private offices where they don't want to be bothered by anyone who doesn't have a teaching or administrative credential.
Then, incredibly, the parents are blamed for not participating and involving themselves more in that hostile environment and when many of them thought that teaching their kids was the job of, well, teachers.
It's been my experience that many teachers don't really care whether parents go to the PTA or help their kids with homework. They just want a constant foil, someone to blame when students flounder and the schools underperform. And, when that happens, in any public school in America, suddenly there's not a mirror to be found. It's always someone else's fault.


I wonder how many teachers in government schools see parents as the scape goats?

(Hat tip: Joanne Jacobs)

Technorati tags: children, education, government schools, children, public school, public education


Mrs. C said...

SO... some schools treat parents badly and they blame them for all kinds of stuff. Or they blame the students. Or the economy. Or the stars are misaligned.

We need more money to fix this problem! That'll work. :/

I keep reading stuff like this and thinking I'm missing something.

Henry Cate said...

Though in fairness to the schools, I think they are given a hard job, maybe even impossible. Politicians keep giving more and more tasks to the teachers. It is hard to do a job well if you have fifty goals.

The government schools are structurally broken and there is no easy fix. That is one of the reasons I am glad we can homeschool. We don't have to wait forever for public schools to be fixed.