What do parents really want from public schools?
Plain and simple, we want them to help us educate our kids. Help them learn to read and write. Build their math skills. Introduce them to science and show them how the world works. Educate them about history and let them see how the past impacts our future. Expose them to the arts and let them tap their creativity. Help us prepare them for adulthood.
That’s it. Nothing more.
We’re not interested in having curriculum that tells our children how they should think; we’d rather have curriculum that gives them things to think about. We don’t want to turn teachers into surrogate parents; they have enough to do already, and most of us are quite capable of doing it ourselves. And finally, we could do without administrators, school boards, state education officials and union leaders who belittle experienced teachers and parents, but bow down to politicians and corporate education entrepreneurs.
Parents really do support public education, but we’re tired of the politics and the “we know what’s best for your child” attitude. No offense, but as our children’s primary teachers, we’re the ones who know what’s best. Others are welcome to give suggestions. but we make the final decisions.
Most of us attended public schools, and we believe these schools are good for our kids and communities. We honestly like the majority of our children’s teachers, and we know they genuinely care about their students. (Reality check: Some current teachers need to find new careers that don’t involve education or children.)
Parents know the current educational system has problems, and we want to be included in creating the solutions. Officials may be pleasantly surprised to learn we’re much smarter than the elite Ivy League and Washington reformers – even though most of us were educated by the public school system.