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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Convicted Teachers, Parenting, and Educational Advoxcacy

The fact that eleven school officials and teachers were convicted of cheating, racketeering, and robbing children of an education should scare every parent in America! It makes the need for advocacy on the behalf of children a more important parental obligation. I will be releasing a book this month on how to be an Educational Advocate. I will leave the how for the book. However, I want to lay out the why in this blog post.

Teachers in the Atlanta Public Schools gave up on the children and instead held cheating parties. Rather than striving to get the community involved. Encouraging parents to understand the need and get them involved they cheated for bonus money and their own careers. It is sad and disgusting. The truth is this is a snapshot of what is happening all over America. It is partially the fault of the educational establishment and partly the fault of parents for believing them.

The educational establishment over the last forty years have convinced parents they are not needed. Just send children to school and we will take care of the rest. Okay, how is that working for us? It isn't! So, now what? Parents it is time to not only to get involved but to stay on educators to ensure that not only is your child learning, but, every child in the classroom.

 It is human nature to work harder when you are being watched. When a teacher knows you are watching and asking question they are more likely to step up their game. If you ask about how common core is effecting the classroom and pay attention you maybe able to also go to the school board and give specific examples the teacher is not free to give.

Schools are beginning to recognize this error and starting to talk about Parent Engagement. However, they are thinking about engagement from their point of view; how you can become a part of what they are doing. This is  a mistake. Schools were created to help you not the other way around. As you begin to take an active role make it clear you are a partner not a patsy. As an adult you are an equal do not accept less.
Educational Advocacy is about ensuring the school is both supported and held accountable for the job they are doing. No one can do that better than parents. Get a group of other concerned parents together and develop a strategy to make things better. Here are some suggestions:


  1. Discuss what your experiences are with the teachers and the administration. Create a list of specific needs and present them to the PTO/PTA.
  2. Create a group who are specifically going to regularly go to school board meetings and bring back information. Discuss and create specific tasks to present to the school board for consideration.
  3. Create a group to look at the school note any problems or concerns. Create a specific list for the principal. Ask how the principal needs support from the parents and then be sure he/she gets it.

Creating a strong, concerned, group of parents willing to both support the schools and hold them accountable is key to making schools better. Each school is as different as the children and parents it serves. While what kids stays the same. How they learn it can very. The goal is to syupport teachers in teaching and be ensured children are learning. One good thing about common core teachers can not teach to the test. They must teach children how to think so they can write and explain the process of the learning. Overall, however education belongs in the hands of parents, teachers, and the local community. If you do not get involved with making sure your child learns then who will?

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