Are parents (partially) responsible for the Chicago Teacher's strike? My answer to that is yes but only some parents are responsible. One of the major sticking points in the recent Chicago Teacher's strike is the new evaluation system. The new system will use a student's test scores as part of the teacher's evaluation. The teachers have repeatly complained that there are outside influences that can affect a child's academic performance that is out of their control. The major outside influence is the child's parents or lack there of.
Ask any CPS teacher if they have ever encountered a parent who did not value education, and they would probably start rattling off a long list of parents. When parents don't value education, it's not very likely that the child will value it. It's not just about valuing education. Some parents believe that it's the teacher's job to teach their child EVERYTHING! This mentality has no color or socioeconomic boundary. It's these two types of parents that are partially responsible for the teacher's strike. Parents who don't value education and parents who think that edcuation is soley the job of the teachers.
The parents that don't value education, have never been taught to value it. This ignorance becomes a vicious cycle for generations. When a teacher asks a parent to go over certain letters of the alphabet at home with a pre-schooler and the response is "I got to help him with homework already?". What can you expect from that child. That child continued to fall behind while the other children whose parents helped them with their alphabets, flourished. There are children who don't have a quiet place to do homework at home and may not be allowed to go to library. I witnessed a parent complain about having to pick her sick child up from school because it was interrupting a date with her boyfriend. Do you think this mother helps her child with homework? Absolutely not!! There are children who are late for school everyday and their parents don't have a problem with it. Some children are dealing with an array of emotional issues from a drug addicted parent, violence, custody issues, the list can go on. Not every child is strong enough to function in school when these issues are present.
I've seen parents that let their children stay home from school, just because they didn't want to go. There are parents who think that if the teacher gives too much homework, that it's ok for the child not to finish it. There are parents who believe that they don't have to help children with homework because the teacher can help the child if they don't understand the homework. I can't leave out the parents who take their kid out of school for a week to go on vacation. These parents value education as long as they are not inconvenienced by it.
While it's a parent's job to be a child's first teacher, many are sleeping on the job or just not showing up for the job. I wish there was a way that we could hold parents responsible when their child is not making an effort in school. The teachers have a point but I don't think they should be let off the hook and not be held accountable for student achievement. You can be homeless and live in poverty and be a great student if you have been taught to value education. I believe that every child can learn as long as he/she is ready, willing and able. There are many amazing stories about children who had rough lives and were inspired to succeed by a great teacher in spite of their home life.
If all parents were on the job and doing it well, the teachers would not have this issue as an excuse to go on strike.