No Child Left Behind, the federal mandate that was implemented by the Bush administration five years ago, is up for review. After participating in a roundtable discussion sponsored by Congressman Scott and reviewing the recent TIME magazine article regarding No Child Left Behind, it is difficult to understand how we can continue to hold educators, administrators, and schools accountable, but fail to hold parents and students to the same level of accountability regarding academic achievement.
The four pillars of No Child Left Behind address stronger accountability for results, more freedom for states and communities, proven education methods, and more choices for parents. (http://www.ed.gov/nclb/overview/intro/4pillars.html)
The pillars place total accountability for the academic success of our children on the schools. No Child Left Behind outlines the specific responsibilities of all parties excluding our parents and students.
While No Child Left Behind requires no level of responsibility or accountability for parents, the mandate affords them the option of transferring their students from “low-performing” and “persistently dangerous” schools, and requires school districts to provide and fund transportation to the “school of choice”.
At no point does the mandate require parents to support the education of our students in any form. As a result, a parent can make no effort to support their student, his/her teacher, or the school, but when it fails, the same parent can choose to move their student to another school…
contributing to the failure of another school.
Schools cannot do it alone and should not be required to do so.
We appreciate our parents that wholeheartedly support our students, schools, educators, and administrators. It is because of their support that our students and schools are successful academically and socially.
These are the parents that would never consider transferring their students from their school because it failed. Instead, they have assumed equal responsibility for the education of our students and have taken full ownership within their communities to ensure that all children receive a quality education.
These parents have arrived at the realization that if our schools fail, then they fail. They also realize that when our schools are successful, they are successful.
Within the context of reforming No Child Left Behind, we must place a higher level of accountability and responsibility on our parents.
How? No, we cannot mandate a “good parent”, but we can promote, recognize, and reward “responsible and accountable parents” that support our students, educators, and schools.
If a student consistently demonstrates the desire not to learn and persists in interfering with the learning of others, the parent/guardian must be held accountable, not just the schools.
If a student is a truant, then the parent/guardian must be held accountable, not just the schools.
If we, as a nation, are going to provide parents with choices under No Child Left Behind, then we are also required to demand that they be held accountable and responsible for the students that they send to our schools on a daily basis.
Schools cannot do this alone and should not be required to.
Clothes wear out. Video games become outdated. Money does not last. The education of our children is the most valuable gift that we can give them that they will never loose.
Parents, its time to step up!
“Managing Money (and the education of our children) is a Matter of the Heart”
Kandise Lucas, PhD.