Thursday, October 20, 2011

Parent Accountability

Recently, the issue of parent accountability has been in the front of my mind when it comes to school. Ironically, I just came across this blog post tonight : Parent Accountability. While I do not agree with everything this blogger states (I don't always think it is best for kids to be taken out of home), I do agree that parents should be expected to step it up!!! Over the past few years, I have seen more and more cases of schools not only teaching academics and character education, but having to meet the basic needs to children (such as feeding, bathing, dressing) because the parents are not. I am not being dramatic. Yet, at the same time, teachers and students are expected to keep raising test scores. Let's get real.....before a child can worry about test scores, his basic needs have to be met. If his teacher is working on his basic needs, then that takes time away from working on the academics to raise the scores. Something has got to give! Either the government needs to hold parents more accountable (which is what I vote to happen!) OR the government needs to recognize that the teacher role is far more than providing an academic education that can be measured by a test and that I must meet the childs needs before I can raise the scores. Thoughts?

3 comments:

  1. This is a hard issue, with so much emotion on both sides for the argument. I teach in a Title I school and I see all of the things that the other blogger is talking about too. Children with their heads shaved bald because the parents don't try to get rid of lice any other way. My own children have caught lice and it IS a headache to get rid of, but I am way tired of little girls coming to school with baseball caps on, heads hanging low, terrified that I will enforce school regulations and make them take it off, thus exposing their baldness to everyone (of course I don't)! I've had kids that needed glasses never get them, students whose adhd meds are being taken or sold by their parents so they can't concentrate on anything, parents that never come to school - literally I'll have parents that I still haven't met after 9 months of school. Students who don't have a single book at home, who never get help with homework, who come to school filthy so that I have them wash up at the sink before school so no one teases them. We send home bags of food on Fridays so that they have something to eat until Monday morning when they get free breakfast and lunch again.

    On the other hand, I recently had a child removed from his mother's care by the state and I felt HORRIBLE. I knew it was traumatic to him and his sibling, I worried about him getting into a good facility/foster home rather than one of the crappy ones that abounds.

    The other blogger asked "if a family can’t manage to feed their children, clothe them properly, and provide them with minimal health care–if Medicaid, Food Stamps, welfare, subsidized housing, and other forms of government assistance aren’t enough–should the children remain in that family’s care?"

    All of the children I talked about in my first paragraphed are loved by their families. They, in turn, love their families. It is NOT how I would raise my children, but I'm not living their life, so I can't judge. My standards of cleanliness may be higher than someone else's, but unless their child is actually getting sick, can I really say they can't have their child because they don't make sure they're clean enough for my sensibilities? Sure I think parents should clothe their children for the weather - it breaks my heart to see kids coming to school in shorts in 40 degree weather. But, is taking them away from their families really a better solution than giving them a jacket and pants? Is not having glasses a good reason to take a child from their home, rather than just providing a eye care clinic day at the school?

    Personally, I'd rather see children in their homes, being supported by the schools and community, rather than in the system. Either way tax payers are taking care of them, so it really doesn't cost us anything extra either way. But, in terms of emotional well being - in a case that is not abuse or severe neglect - I think the best way forward is to keep the child with the family.

    Of course, this child's test scores should also not count against his/her teacher, but since I'm against using standardized test scores as a measure to evaluate teacher effectiveness, that's really a moot point in my opinion.

    Wow, this is probably the longest comment ever, and I hope I didn't step on too many toes, but since I teach in a high poverty area this is a subject that I am very opinionated about!

    Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

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  2. Totally agree; when kids come in and say their Mom, Dad or Grandmother is in jail, it is all I can do not to cry! My kindergarten class this year has so many needs that I have to meet before they can worry about letters, sounds, and reading! URGH!

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  3. This reminds me of a situation a student of mine is dealing with, he saw some things happen at home that the parents should've never let happen. Sad, sad situation.

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"Teachers make great thieves"...ever heard that quote? It is a very true! Most of our great ideas are "stolen" from someone else. Not all ideas on this blog are mine. I try to give credit where credit is due. However, if you find that an idea should have been given credit but wasn't, please let me know.
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