The school system of which I am a product has maintained it's standards of excellency for over 30 years. Even after integration this system maintained it's integrity by parental involvement and a refusal to lower it's standards.
I was amazed to learn that an honor student from another school ,in the same county as I , was not scored the same as myself. The result of the disparity in grading was shown in the first year of college. The student from the other school was not prepared for the first year of college level classes.
Parental involvement at that school only came as the result of a negative action. The parents for reasons of economics or lack of education were not involve with the school. The same can be said for the school in the newspaper at risk of becoming state run. Although the district that houses this school has received millions in corporate dollars, little had been gained per dollar spent. Had the parents been more active in the school, there would have been a larger protest against the usage of funds to create more administrative overhead than fully funded academic initiatives. It is of little wonder to me that the school is failing.
I can not use economics or lack of education to defend the inactions of these parents. It is just a misplacement of values that keep them from demanding more of the school and of their children.
My son is aware of my stance on education. Although he is not the honor student, he gets his grades. I take the time to sit with him during homework hours. He also sees me at his school. His teachers let him know they know me. In this district, the entire community preaches academic excellence. The school system here is succeeding not by chance but by the determination of middle to lower level socioeconomic classes of people to see their children enjoy a higher standard of living. NCLB is not the problem or cure for public education. Parental involvement can make the most financially improvised school a stellar scholarly example.
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