Education is not “the teacher’s job” alone.

Before proration, when Kelly, my wife, taught middle school math at Bibb Graves, she was regularly frustrated with the prevalent mindset among some parents that education was the schools job. Families and schools must be partners in the education of children; teachers cannot do it alone. Parents have a shared responsibility to teach our children.

As a people, our mothers and fathers must once again rededicate ourselves to the principle that schooling does not stop at the schoolhouse door; it continues into the home.  How actively engaged are we in our children’s education?

I was encouraged with the announcement by Education Secretary Arne Duncan of the Education Department’s proposal to double the amount of federal dollars set aside for to carry out family engagement activities.

“Parents will always be a child’s first and most important teacher,” said Duncan. “And parenting is the most important job that every parent takes on. This week we are proposing to step up our efforts at the federal level to empower parents to do even more for our students.”

So true.

As I have been on the trail, I have discussed with teachers their ideas for building a world class school system.  Increasing the budgets for our schools is not the sole solution, we must also change the culture of education in our families. Policies must be geared toward re-engaging families into the education of their children. One encouraging local program is Teach-me-too. In this, the teachers actually teach the parents the next month’s lessons so that the parents can help their own children.

Let’s pursue education reform but let us also reform our faulty mindset as well.


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