Another new school year, another new set of problems. However, I’m here to tell you that after 40 years at this teaching gig, I’ve really found a very old solution. Paraphrasing James Carville:
IT’S NOT THE PLANS BUT THE PARENTS, STUPID
A school can have a spectacular campus, spectacular curricula, even spectacular teachers. But without some spectacular parents back home, don’t look for many spectacular results. With no disrespect to my former colleagues in schools like New Trier and Hinsdale, they have a big edge going into every new year: Parents at home who really care what’s happening to their kids at school.
Let me clarify. What counts is not the parents’ fine houses or incomes in their nice suburbs….it’s how finely they invest in their kids even before they reach the campus. Lets be honest. The security of a good family and the support of a good community add up to kids who will actually find school worthwhile. Without that at the get-go, you’re just not going to get very far.
So, yeah, lets have better gang control, better classroom equipment, and better teachers. But most of all, lets have some better parents….! Rich or poor, white or black, city or suburb, educated or not — just downright better parents who really give a damn.
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