Here’s an article in the WaPo in which the author argues that it’s time for more parental involvement and accountability in schools.
I disagree. I don’t disagree that students might (probably would? definitely do?) better in school if their parents are more involved. But this is necessarily the logical or proper next step in reforming the schools. After all, the schools themselves (the teachers, the principles, the school boards, the Department of Education) are still not that accountable (despite the author’s exhortation to the contrary). When schools fail students (not by giving them failing grades but by doing a poor job of educating them) then we should not call for parents to be more involved. We should call for the firing of teachers, the closing of schools, and ultimately, the reformation of the completely failed and bankrupt Department of Education. We should abandon the system that has failed for decades: public schools. We should turn to private schools. With private schools there are market forces at play – real accountability. Failing schools fail just as failing products quickly disappear from the shelves and failing companies quickly disappear from Wall Street and Main Street.
Pulling parents into the picture is a scapegoat for the real problem: public schools are an abysmal failure. Even in the best cases – good schools and good teachers – it is likely that the public is overspending.
The article above reminds me of the solution to the troubles that the Center for Advanced Genetic Engineering faces in their failure to reproduce the stellar results of Gene Module Beta. They blame the population that they are treating with the drug. The ignore the fact that before they took over the project from Advanced Genetic Research the drug worked fine even on the most dire population of patients.