I live in a school district that has been rated as academically unacceptable by the Texas Education Agency. While I only, now, have one child in high school, as a parent, I am increasingly concerned about the deteriorating education in the public school system.
For parents who are equally as frustrated with the public school systems in Texas and various other states across the country, there are measures we can take in an effort to move our children’s education forward and obtain the academic rating we would all like to see for our communities.
As a parent concerned about our public school system, it is important to understand that some of the your child’s school system complications may be directly attributed to the school board members who are working through the various political and social issues of the community. To have your voice heard, and to push for reform, it is important to vote on school board matters and attend school board meetings and public city meetings at every opportunity you can get.
Believe it or not, we have education systems in this country that are successful and do work. To assist your public school system in reaching those same standards of excellence, you must first educate yourself in what systems do, and do not, work. Pulling periodical references such as Education Week and Educational Leadership as these provide a foundation on which to build your campaign for better education.
At a more personal level, visit your child’s classrooms. Do not be afraid or deterred by your child’s teacher nor your child. Along these same lines, pull your state’s recommended educational path for your child’s age group and compare that to what is being taught in class. You might be surprised to learn your child is not even learning the academic lessons required for that particular grade or age group.
I have found, personally, that regular and consistent communication with my child’s teacher is effective in managing not only his academic success but also, to some extent, controlling the communication and interaction between my son and his teachers. If you surveyed a group of teachers, most will say the number one factor that influences a child’s success in school is the parent’s involvement and communication. So, do not be afraid to engage educators, other parents and administrators to ensure your child is receiving the best possible public education.
And, finally, there is a web based company known as the Education Consumers ClearingHouse. Reaching out to this organization, becoming a member and signing up for alerts, you can become more familiar with the issues and dynamics facing other educators and parents in the public and private school system.
As with any academic foundation, the key to successful education lies in the communication and perseverance to do what is right. As a taxpayer in your community, it is important to take an active role in the approach to education, using these simple steps, especially when your school district is rated academically unacceptable as in the case for my community.