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January 26, 2021

What parents really want from public schools

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.

5 Comments on What parents really want from public schools

  1. As a teacher, I truly wish the majority of parents actually think this way. It’s been my experience- as mentioned by one person above- that the teacher has been thrust into the role of a surrogate parent. Many parents think that their role in their child’s education is dropping the kid off, picking him/her up when it’s convenient for them and involving themselves only with the outcomes of their kid’s education, not the process. One thing that I advocate is a re-education of parents when it comes to their child’s academic education. We can remove the politics when everyone owns up to their responsibility when it comes to their kid’s education because, no, it’s not a teacher’s job to tell you how to parent your kid. However, it does make it extremely difficult to hold our tongue when we’re fighting against parents who can’t do some of the most basic things like dress their kid properly for school, get them the proper supplies, check their homework, and most importantly, teach their kid to value the free education that they are receiving.

  2. As a parent, I agree. Educate my child to the fullest extent and give them the opportunity to succeed. Teach my child that when they work hard they will be given equal chances and that it is not based on the merit in schools of who you are and whose parents play the best political game.

    Now as a teacher, I have seen the parents that are not involved with their kids, and I am cast into the role as parent. I am having to teach manners, help with the homework, provide food for the students, and listening to all their problems.

    A common ground needs to be established so that the student is receiving what they need to succeed!

  3. I agree with 99% of this post … well said and shared. However, my new experience (after raising kiddos for the last four years abroad) is that we’re not the majority. My child’s school is a public school that happens to listen to the well-educated parents who don’t want or need surrogate mamas or babysitters, and who don’t kowtow to decisions made by a overseeing school board. But as I start to explore the other schools in our county/district, it’s not the same situation everywhere.

    I’m frustrated by it, but with no real great thoughts on how to work through it.


    A homeschool taught mama of three …

    • Thanks for sharing. I think parents are AFRAID to speak out because the so-called experts treat us like idiots. We can we do? Stop being afraid. Speak our mind.Talk to our local and federal government officials. Vote. Never stop talking.

      It’s going to take a critical mass to change the situation, but I believe it can be done.

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