Mar 062010

Some of the letters in Wednesday’s WSJ respond to an earlier article by saying the problem with schools isn’t tenure. Several of them mention the parents. We’ve all heard these things before, but let’s hear them out again:

More important determinants are parental support…


Your editorial really should be about “No Parent Left Behind.” Why are the parents not being held responsible for their children’s lack of will and motivation in wanting to learn? If we go back half a century and review why schools were effective, we see that the majority of parents supported the schools in their quest to educate future generations. … Get the parents on the ball as they were in the past.


at the minimum, parents also need to receive the baton their children’s teachers pass them every day after school, and work to return eager, prepared learners to the classroom the next morning.

Good points, all of them. But if the parental role is so important, why is it that we have removed schools further and further from the control of parents over the past several decades? We used to have local control of schools. Then we consolidated into bigger districts where the parents’ voice counted for little. Then we went to state control voice where it counted for even less. And now we’re moving to federal control, where the Governor of Michigan is spending her time, not looking at how schools can help children learn, but with what’s wrong with the state’s application for federal funds. Is it any wonder that parents join in expecting ever more centralized governmental authorities to do something about the lack of learning?