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Parents’ Complaints — Arrogant Public Schools Turn a Deaf Ear
School authorities continually state that they want more cooperation and participation from parents in their children’s education. They complain when parents don’t show up for parent-teacher conferences or push their kids to do homework.
However, this constant cry for parental cooperation is often a smokescreen pretense to make parents think they have some control over their children’s education. In most cases, parents do not have this control. Teachers and principals may placate parents or ask for their cooperation, but they rarely make the important changes parents demand.
For example, most parents want their children to learn basic arithmetic without using calculators as a crutch. A Public Agenda survey found that 86% of parents want students to learn arithmetic by hand before using calculators. However, the math teaching policy in most public schools today is that all children starting kindergarten have access to calculators at all times to do math problems.
Most school districts make important decisions about teaching methods or curriculum in secret, without the knowledge or approval of parents. The parents’ only recourse is to complain to the principals or school authorities after those authorities have dictated their curriculum or teaching methods, and the parent sees the harm to their children. Unfortunately, these complaints are often futile.
Most parents do not realize that the school authorities do not want their opinion. Too often, school authorities ignore parents’ suggestions or complaints because they really believe they are the experts and parents are just annoying fans. As a result, some teachers, principals, or administrators feel insulted when parents make suggestions or complaints. Many school officials believe that parents should have no real input into their children’s education. This is one of the reasons why school authorities hold their committee meetings in secret.
Another reason is that school authorities fear that parents will complain about certain classes and subjects in the curriculum. For example, many public schools have introduced classes and books about homosexuality into elementary and middle school sex education classes. When parents find out about these classes, they often complain to the school principal and local politicians. To avoid these complaints, public schools often try to keep what they teach in these sex education classes a secret from parents.
Also, teachers, principals and school authorities should not listen to petulant and irritating parents who complain that their children cannot read. Public school employees become tenured after a few years. This means, in effect, that it is almost impossible to fire them, no matter how bad or even mediocre they are. If you couldn’t be fired, would you care about parents’ complaints? That’s not why, and that’s why public school teachers or principals can be arrogant or indifferent to the legitimate complaints of parents.
Parents, the solution is to stop beating your head against the brick wall of arrogant public school employees. Just walk along the wall and don’t look back. In other words, consider taking your children out of public school and find real educational choice and control in the free education market. Consider homeschooling or some of the many quality, low-cost private K-12 Internet schools listed in the “Public Schools, Public Threat” resource section.
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