UpliftAnother1

Building Community Through Better Relationships

Education and My Mother-In-Law

I had a fascinating Sunday afternoon discussion with my mother-in-law (yes, my mother-in-law) on education.  Our conversation covered education standards, administrative economics, student behaviors, leadership credentials and parental expectations.  The last two points were the most interesting.  Are current school leaders better equipped to drive educational progress than more seasoned leaders of a prior generation? How far can parents go to get the type of education that they want for their children?

These two questions are multi-faceted and impossible to answer adequately in a few hundred words.  However, a few critical points made the discussion valuable.  So, are current school leaders better equipped to drive educational progress than more seasoned leaders of a prior generation?  Essentially, the question is less about newer versus older leaders.  It is more about educational expectations.  The present era of lethal violence, bullying, immigration, prescription medications, and constantly evolving behavioral conditions, means emphasizing reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic is easily lost today. Younger leaders may not be equipped, but in this rapidly changing school building, decades of academic experience means less in this new world that our youth has inherited.

How far can parents go to get the type of education that they want for their children?  This question boils down to choices.  School options, that now include public, home school, parochial, private, and charter, offer so many choices that a well-informed parent can be quickly overwhelmed.  Without claiming that one solution is better than another, a clear position can be established that each option solves a specific academic/ social challenge while creating others. Taxpayer support, religious base, and college preparatory are all educational factors to consider. Nevertheless, a consistent expectation is that specific standards must be met according to government entities.  This peculiar evolution created the term, “teaching to the test” where achieving certain academic metrics directly impact education economics in assorted ways from school district funding to students earning more college scholarship dollars. So for each individual student’s family, the question is: what do you want?

If having an intelligent conversation with your mother-in-law does not stretch your sensibilities, consider trying to find consistent paths to success in the education system.  In both cases, it is extremely difficult.  But also, in both cases it truly happens all the time.  So for the individual, clearly define success in education.  Then, deliberately pursue success according to that definition.  The options are there.­­

 

As a charter school board member, an adjunct college instructor, and Director for the Learning Lab Summer Summits (learning programs for high achieving students), Glenn Hunter has a unique look at how success is pursued and achieved across the educational spectrum.

April 28, 2013 Posted by | Better Community | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment