Who is responsible for teaching my child? Academically, is it his middle school teacher in Hemet where we live? Is it his school counselor? Maybe his assistant principal or the Hemet School District Superintendent is responsible for his intellectual growth? What about spiritually, his Sunday school teacher or priest? And his civic growth? The only constant in the educational developmental equation of my child, other than my 11 year old is me (and his mother). I have the overall responsibility to ensure the complete development of my child. Teachers and counselors are tools that we can use, but in the event of a failure, we bear the responsibility. If your child is failing math, why are you not tutoring the child? If the answer is, “I don’t know algebra”, that is the problem! If it’s not important enough for you to know, why should your child bother? If the answer is, “I don’t have time”, maybe you should take a look at your priorities! What is more important than establishing a solid foundation for your child’s life?
According to CBS News (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/09/13/national/main838207.shtml), American adults age 25-34 rank ninth in the world for having at least a high school diploma and seventh in the world for having a college degree. According to the Morgan Quitno Press (http://www.morganquitno.com/edrank.htm) for academic year 2006-2007 California children ranked 47 in the United States for all around “smartest”. For a ranking list of schools by district go to: http://api.cde.ca.gov/AcntRpt2010/2010GrthAPICo.aspx?cYear=2009-10&cSelect=33,RIVERSIDEor http://api.cde.ca.gov/AcntRpt2010/2010GrthAPICo.aspx?cYear=2009-10&cSelect=36,SAN,BERNARDINO. Our children our failing and not only are we letting them, but we are facilitating the failure.
Every parent wants better for their children than they had, but for the first time in the history of our country, it looks like the next generation will be worse off that the generation before it. Many will blame the government after all it is the Department of Education that sets the standards for our children. However since its founding in October of 1979, it has made relatively no difference in the education of our children even with its $46.7 Billion annual budget (2010). According to readfaster.com, “33% of California students will not graduate from High School”, “more than three out of four of those on welfare, 85% of unwed mothers and 68% of those arrested are illiterate. About three in five of America’s prison inmates are illiterate” and “approximately 50 percent of the nation’s unemployed youth age 16-21 are functional illiterate, with virtually no prospects of obtaining good jobs”, http://www.readfaster.com/education_stats.asp#educationstatistics.
Since government is obviously not the answer, it is time for us as parents to stand up and take responsibility for the education of our children! Work with your child’s teachers and communicate with them often. Get a copy of the education standards that your child will need to accomplish from his teacher, so that you can monitor your child’s progress. If you suspect your child is having trouble, setup a game plan with his teacher to correct the deficiency. If you find the teacher less than helpful, take it up with an administrator. If you are not satisfied with your child’s school see about moving him to a different school or home schooling. In short take an active role in your child’s education.
We need to ensure the overall development of our children, intellectually, spiritually and civically. We form and shape them, and develop the content of their character. President Woodrow Wilson once said, “The use of a university is to make a young man as unlike his father as possible.” I for one have a big problem with that, I want my children to share my values and look at me as a role model, not some radical professor. It’s not that I don’t want a radical professor teaching my child, I think they should be exposed to all sides of an issue and various opinions and if they develop an opinion that conflicts with mine, that’s ok at least it will be an informed education and not merely one sided.