School reform plans won’t work for the children of parents who failed in school, writes columnist William Raspberry. What’s needed is a way to “change the culture in which hard-to-educate children are the majority.”
. . . for parents who have not enjoyed success or seriously envisioned success for their children, it takes more than reorganization and parent coordinators and the like. It takes a consistent, nonjudgmental effort to reach and teach parents how to prepare their children for learning.
Raspberry overstates the uselessness of school improvement efforts, I think, but he’s right to point to family culture as a very serious problem, and one that’s very hard to do anything about.