Sunday, March 23, 2008

Parental Involvement Hypocrisy

Parental involvement, parental involvement, parental involvement. Listen carefully to the advocates of RUSD, and you will hear lots of talk about the importance of parental involvement. And they are right of course. Parents do need to be involved in their children's education.

However, I am quite sure they don't really mean it. After all, the most important decision an involved parent can make is to decide where to send their child to school. And the same people who lecture us about the importance of parental involvement are the ones who will fight to prevent parents from making the most important decision that they can make regarding their child's education.

If people really wanted parental involvement in education, they would work to ensure that parents have the ability to choose the right school for their child. In other words, they would support school choice. And until they do, all their talk about parental involvement is just that, talk.


CSFTA said...

There are circumstances where involved parents would have trouble making choice work for their family. If transportation to a "choice" school requires expenditure of money and time a family does not have, there may be no "choice". Put yourself in the shoes of a single parent family hovering around the poverty line, or even two working spouses not so far above the poverty line. Without the resources to transport to the school of your choice, you likely have no choice, even if you've got voucher in hand.

Denis Navratil said...

Thanks for your comments csfta. I live very close to my son's private school, so there is no need for bussing. However, to the best of my knowledge, other students are bussed and taxpayers are picking up the tab, just like with Unified. While your concern is valid, it is certainly not an insurmountable problem.

csfta said...

Insurmountable, no, untenable perhaps. In a full blow voucher system you conceivably will have kids from every neighborhood going to a multitude of different schools - imagine the permutations of bus routes. I like the voucher concept, but this does seem to be a potential working flaw.

Denis Navratil said...

csfta, how I wish that transportation difficulties were the only obstacle to a school voucher initiative in Racine.

Anonymous said...

Right wing ideologues see 'evil socialism' behind every tree.
Only a more equitable society will make all education better...check with Finland's public scores in the world.