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View Diary: Charter Schools and the CREDO Report (218 comments)

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  •  Well, I wasn't thinking so much about (0+ / 0-)

    parents who don't care about reading and education, I was thinking about the single mother with two jobs, the parents who are poor, overworked and underpaid, etc.  There are some parents who just don't really care (and probably never should have been parents!)

    I can't imagine approaching a single mother working two jobs as someone from the school with a "program" I need her to join.  These kinds of people can't take time off work.  They don't get paid if they don't work.  

    I feel a bit like an alien who needs a translator sometimes in conversations about schools, because most of us here discussing the issue are NOT poor.  We don't worry about making it to work (if we even have a job) with a car on its last legs and no public transportation.  We don't worry about what happens when we have to miss work because one of the kids is sick.

    When I read things like "Most parents know whats best for schools and the goal of a school is to keep the parents happy.", you know I get a really vivid picture of suburbia, or some progressive enclave somewhere.  I think it's REALLY important to remember that everyone is not just like us, and everywhere is not just like where we live.

    But then I"m fairly old and I've been around the block a few times.  I've been that poor person, and I've been the suburbanite, and I've lived in places where people think progressively, and now live in a place where ONE person supported Dem candidates in 2008.  In the area where I live now, even the middle class people seem to play by Tea Party Rules when it comes to interest in education.  By that I mean, they know very little about it, and pay very little attention to it until some hot topic grabs their interest, and then they become the "Interested Parents With a Stake in Education".  ...just for a little while.

    It's difficult to discuss state or national educational trends when, as you said, all the communities are different.  But we have to really remember the differences when we are talking about state and national policies and approaches, because the policy that creates a wonderful progressive oasis in one community could easily be used to create an anti-science, revisionist-history enclave in another.

    •  Bingo... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Linda Wood, angelajean
      because most of us here discussing the issue are NOT poor.

      Nor do most of the people here discussing education live in poor neighborhoods.  So many people won't even enter education discussions because they are treated horribly if they do not follow the common wisdom at dkos.  I dibble and dabble a little bit but I get tired of seeing parents like me in shitty school districts demonized or the prodding that I offer my kid up as a sacrificial lamb while many of the people here do not live within shitty school districts.  Or have no idea the choices I have to contend with and are far more willing to believe that based on my zip code, if my kid isn't academically successful it is because I feed him McDonalds.  Or who do not get the real world context in which poor people live in or understand or recognize the propoganda campaign that has gone on for decades about children like my son and parents like me.  But I'm told I'm "unversalizing" my experience while people are free to make broad brush statements against the people I call friends and neighbors.  

      I for one am tired of pandering to perpetrators --- many of whom are opposed to any discussion however it comes. -- soothsayer99 DPK Caucus

      by princss6 on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 07:22:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A laptop into every home... (0+ / 0-)

        and make bloggers of them all.

        That would make a hell of a movement, wouldn't it?

        We just bought an iPad to help my husband with school (yes, at 43, he's back in school again). I am amazed at the learning opportunities provided by that little machine. I can envision a school where every child has an iPad to take home at will and to explore the world through it.

        Of course, an iPad can't fix everything but it can make up for old and aging textbooks... it could even make up for mediocre teaching, in my mind. Give a kid a world to explore, and they start to teach themselves. We just need to give kids a place to explore, whether they live in the inner city or in a farm town.

        Oversimplifying? A little. Some here might call me disingenuous, but I'm not really. I like to dream.

    •  But we also assume that because people are (0+ / 0-)

      poor, they won't have time and/or inclination to have a say in the system.

      That's why so many of these solutions have to be local ones. Teachers and administrators need to find ways to engage parents, no matter what their social status. We should stop assuming that being poor makes it impossible to contribute - yes, it makes it harder but it doesn't make it impossible.

      We get stuck into a framework of teacher meetings and after school conferences. Can't we find different ways to hold meaningful dialogue?

      Here in Argentina, my kids bring home a red book. My teenager brings it home once a week. My 12 year old everyday. It's a place for teachers and parents to communicate - without telephones, without computers, with whatever time is available in the day. It's a possible solution to better communication.

      I would imagine that kids living with a mom that works two jobs need less homework, not more. Can a teacher adapt to that? I would imagine that kids with a mom with two jobs need more after school care... or, heaven forbid, overnight care? Could school programs adapt to that? Why aren't we asking these moms what they need to make school work for their kids? Or are we... is there a model that is working this way?

      I bet if we included more families in the planning of schools, we could design schools that are more responsive to the community.

      Anyway, I think we're more on the same page than not, don't you?

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