It is easy to sit back and judge the education system in our society. We hear so many bad things about what is going on in school – from systems teaching curriculums based on competency testing to crazed teens wielding guns that it is difficult to have educated opinions about the education system. Most people device their opinion of the education system based on their experiences, which vary so greatly from one locale to the next. Someone who lives 50 miles from you may have a totally different experience than you do, thwarted by sociological factors that are beyond control.
There have also been a million and one studies in the United States alone about the lacks and regulation of the education system. Teachers today are often pegged, as corrupt, and mainstream media seems intent on displaying the negative aspects of education on prime time television. And of course, there are the monetary woes of schools that have them cutting enrichment programs by the dozens which greatly limit each and every child’s ability to succeed.
Bottom line! You could read, study, research – spending millions or zillions of hours brewing over the fine points and fine print that negate our education system. But this mom’s opinion of the education system is as follows!
You get out of it what you put in to it! And the largest denominator in childhood success academically and otherwise is parenting success. Not school systems.
The school system today is being designed to act as both teacher and parent. Ask any teacher and they will tell you that there are dozens of smart kids in their class who don’t succeed because there is no parent involvement. And society has placed far too much responsibility on the education system rather than making – even forcing, parents to be responsible. So today’s education system becomes a scapegoat and highly visible public target for which people can BLAME and SHAME for their child’s (and their) failure to parent.
Today, parents can drop their kids off at school as early as 6am, and not pick them up until the evening hours. Children (even very young ones) are expected to spend as much time away from home in a learning environment as adults spend at work. Parents count on school systems to feed their child breakfast, provide medications for them if they are sick, to provide them PE so they can get exercise, and largely rely on school systems and teachers to ‘parent’ the child when it comes to self control and behavior. School systems are engaging in grant programs and getting giant loans to offer behavioral programs at school, while cutting music and fine arts out of the curriculum. The actions or inactions of a few, and the soft societal thinking that everything has to be hunky dory, comfortable and fair – is ruining the success of schooling in general. Children who lead or excel are looked at as privileged, when the truth is there is likely just more parental involvement at home.
Worse, when a student fails, or performs poorly on a standardized test – the school system is to blame. In some states across the United States, test scores are so important that teachers are literally 100% ‘teaching the test.” Some states also link teacher raises and bonuses based on test scores of the students in their class. Teachers can also be fired if they have a certain percentage of students who do not pass these competency tests each and every year. What this has done is completely remove the responsibility from the parent and child to the teacher, who by the way is NOT a counselor. It has also sadly reduced the amount of QUALIFIED people who are seeking out teaching as profession.
As school systems remove accountability from the child and parent duo – the conditions within the school become worse and worse. Schools are now trying to operate on an equal platform, but often don’t have the backing from parents to do so. And the bottom line, no matter how you look at it, is there is always ALWAYS going to be students who excel in school and those that excel in trades. But today’s school system does little to encourage or develop the latter group, which leads to increasingly high drop out rates as well as lack of self-discipline. What is the world going to do when there are no more mechanics or electricians or hairdressers? Valuing these skills, and enriching children’s passions and talents sometimes over test scores, is an important, but lost art in today’s education system.
Education is being disrupted by cries for equality from every sect of society. The working parent feels the school MUST provide for their child in lieu of their absence. Lower economic groups of parents demand that the schools provide the basic necessities of living, such as childcare and food, as well as tutoring for their children in lieu of their financial situation. The general consensus derived from half the population participating in entitlement programs such as food stamps and welfare is that the school system OWES them something, when it has been proven that low-income parents give little parental involvement in return.
School systems that perform well are ‘teaching the test’ and don’t have loose curriculums which promote long-term success of each and every student. Teachers, administrators, and school systems as a whole are overwhelmed with the political correctness expected of them, which completely drains financing. And parents and children are left thinking that it is the responsibility of the school system to teach the children what they need to know, to develop the person, and to procure success by all means. With or without parental influence or involvement. Ain’t gonna happen!
This mom says all of that is bull! If you want your child to succeed in school, then get involved. Make them do their homework at home. Provide consequences. Work on your own living situation to move up in the world. Talk to your children. Talk to the teachers and let them know you are involved. Make academics an expectation. Stop buying into the entitlement and quit playing the blame game for your child’s lack of achievement. The school system is not responsible for 80% of the things they provide for a child – the parent is. When the ball gets thrown back into the parent’s court, and school systems are allowed to focus on learning and education, things will improve. But until then, schools, administrators, and teachers will only be bound by the immense roll of red tape that serves lazy parents who are not getting involved. Instilling the idea of getting an education, and developing respect for learning and education and success, starts at home first and foremost. If parent shrug the buck, the child will be the one to suffer.
You get out of it what you put in to it! And the largest denominator in childhood success academically and otherwise is parenting success. Not school systems. If you put garbage in, you get garbage out.