As educators, what are we to make of the ongoing tragedy in Steubenville, Ohio – a community in which one teenage girl was raped and publicly humiliated, two teenage boys are being shipped off to juvenile detention, and two other teenage girls are now under arrest after threatening to beat and kill the victim?
Tag Archives: parents
It’s that time of year again: when parents across the country — but particularly parents in major American cities — prepare to schedule a flurry of open houses in a frantic search for the best school for their child.
It happened to me a year ago; between January and March I visited more than 20 schools in search of the best place for my 3-year-old. Even though I’ve been working in schools my whole adult life, it was a daunting, disorienting experience. I can only imagine what it feels like for parents who haven’t stepped foot in a school since their own high school graduation.
To help ease the anxiety of my fellow parents, here are a few essential rules of the road: three questions to ask, and three things to look for.
This morning, my wife and I joined our son at a holiday breakfast celebration. The school’s multipurpose room (“the puh-pus room”, as Leo calls it) was filled with children between the ages of 3 and 6, who sat in a circle and sang songs while their parents leaned on walls and scanned the edges of the room for coffee. Then we broke bread together — each family bringing in dishes that represent “breakfast” to them: cranberry orange bread, hot tamales, donuts, fruit salad, and some delicious combination of onions and scalloped potatoes. The children quickly finished the food on their plates and then wove in and out of the groups of parents who stood and chatted, their teachers — all of them women — doing their best to maintain a small sense of order and decorum.
It’s hard not to feel excited for the group of parents who successfully took over their California community’s school, and who now are dreaming of bigger things. “Our children will now get the education they deserve,” said Doreen Diaz, whose daughter attends Desert Trails Elementary in Adelanto. “We are on the way to making a quality school for them, and there’s no way we will back down.”
It’s equally hard to feel confident that this story will have the ending Ms. Diaz and others envision.
In the halls of Congress and on the presidential campaign trail, a debate is raging over which set of economic proposals to pursue in order to rebuild the national economy. At the same time, K-12 education reformers are engaged in their own frantic search for the right recipe(s) that can unlock the full power of teaching and learning. But rarely do we acknowledge that one individual stands, improbably, at the center of both debates – John Maynard Keynes.