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Sat., June 2, 2012

Parents key to education

I spent 30 years teaching math in high school. Thirty-four more years have gone by. During the ’50s and ’60s, there was no serious discussion about education being underfunded. From the ’70s on, the parental roar that more money should be spent has been getting louder.

No matter how much more money one throws at the problem of quality, acceptable change will not occur. For those who think otherwise, tell me precisely how you would use more money to effect desired change. If the system passes students from one grade to the next, regardless of concepts learned, isn’t it reasonable to expect dropouts?

I have, over time, watched satisfied, supportive parents turn into parents who think their progeny can do no wrong, always believe what their kids tell them, and want to fight the educational system to prove their kids have rights.

We have gone from having a school for kids who couldn’t adjust to the regular program, to setting up a school for kids who couldn’t adjust to either of those programs, just to make graduation statistics look better.

In my mind, the solutions must happen from the top down. Change will not happen if parents fight the system.

Gene Sivertson


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