Educators see parents as problems

“In my experience, most administrators and many teachers hold parents in low regard, and their behavior and policies reflect that,” writes John Merrow on Taking Note.

Educators won’t admit it in public. Parents are “our greatest asset,” they’ll say. They’re “invaluable partners.”

But they don’t treat parents as part of the solution, writes Merrow. Middle-class parents are asked to run bake sales. Little is expected of low-income parents.

Some educators feel that low-income parents do not have the time or energy to get deeply involved in their children’s schooling.  . . . plenty of administrators and teachers are genuinely disdainful of parents and apt to dismiss them as uncaring, uninvolved or ignorant.  “Just leave the education to us” is how I would characterize their attitude.

When low-income students are out of school for the summer, they lose reading and math skills to the “summer slide.” They’re not visiting the museum, traveling or going to sports or music camps.

Educators propose more schooling. But what if they asked parents to do more over the summer?

PBS NewsHour is working on a story about Springboard, a Philadelphia nonproft that teaches low-income parents how to coach their children in reading. Reading skills don’t slide over the summer, according to the group’s data. Children improve.

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