It occurs to me that I have yet to meet a parent who didn’t feel that their child, not recognized as exceptional by their school, was very special and not adequately served by their school. Go figure. Indeed, one of the more frightening areas in which the far right and liberal left seem to make common cause is over “educational reform” — code for , “choice”.
When looks at the response to parental demands (read ‘low cost” private and charter schools), we see of course quite a bit of quackery, bigotry, but more importantly we see that these schools are mostly about parents being able to push educational staff around. Not that educational staff in many institutions shouldn’t be pushed around, lol, but I would prefer to see the pushing towards greater educational efficacy, as opposed to greater responsiveness to parental images of self-importance.
I am afraid we do have hordes of lousy teachers, but I don’t think a greater percentage than that of lousy parents, and while some might argue that with adequate educational leadership something can be made of even the worst teacher (presuming the existence of educational leadership, a matter I think in some dispute) the same can’t be said of parents.
Yes, I am outraged by a teacher who flunks his entire honors history class, but I also have to ask myself how such a class was filled with students who could not read or write to the standards necessary to take that class. And in the instances where I have witnessed such behavior, not a single parent though their child unprepared.
I will certainly admit to the fact that countless children escape an education, but qualify that confession with the observation that the wee toads are aided and abetted by their parents, who are of legal age, if not necessarily of sound mind, and whom, if the truth be told, are hustling their precious little devils through those cracks as quickly as their little chubby legs can carry them. And while some of us see down the rabbit hole as delightful interlude from the humdrum of our obligations, for some the illusion becomes all too real
While there are undoubtedly many exceptions, most of “us” are fearful, bigoted, and superstitious. We tend to think we are well educated while we are often almost functionally illiterate. We know very little history and less of any other social science, are largely innumerate, and have a good deal of trouble with our own language, let alone any other. We are tribal, snooty, and abusive while calling out others for being tribal, snooty and abusive. We are incredibly selfish, greedy and jealous. And now we want to be able to educate our children so that they don’t have to be near “Them”.
The most critical aspect of Education is learning about Others. The most critical target of Educational Reform can, I believe, be consistently seen in your mirror (as opposed to being found on the other side of it).