May 19, 2006

Parental Panacea

Is parental involvement the panacea to our educational woes?

Educators would have us believe that it is. Of course, lots more money wouldn't hurt either.

Teachers know what they see in the classroom. When teachers see a kid who's failing, the also see a kid who inevitably is disengaged and unmotivated and/or started school far behind his peers. If only this kid had gotten and/or would get more parental support (forcing kids to do homework, providing motivation, being a good role model, etc.), he'd succeed.

Perhaps this is the case in their educational fantasy land--the land where all teachers are Socrates and teachers' lounges are paved with gold.

In the real world this is a pipe dream. In the real world, student achievement is mostly governed by student IQ. And, unfortunately, IQ is inherited. So when we see lower achieving kids, we tend to also see lower performing parents.

Let's see how this plays out in three hypothetical, typical families:

The Winthorpes: Affluent and college educated. Their children tend to be smarter than average and successful in school.

The Six-Packs: Average and high school educated. Their children tend to be of average intelligence; some succeed, others don't.

The Valentines: Poor and uneducated. Their children tend to be below average in smarts and student performance.

Let's see how parental involvement plays out for these three families. See if you can spot the cruel irony.

The Winthorpes, being educated themselves, are the most likely to value education and provide parental support to their kids. They are the most capable of providing such support because they are highly educated and have more resources. Their kids, though probably not as smart as their parents (regression to the mean and all that), tend to require the least amount of parental support. The kids will also be the easiest to teach. So we have the best parental teachers paired with the most capable students. This is a recipe for academic success. Though tending to be rare, if it turns out that a Winthorpe kid wound up at the low end of the gene pool and struggles in school, the Winthorpe family will be the most capable of picking up the slack. As a result, most Winthorpe kids will succeed academically.

The Six-Packs, being moderately educated, also tend to be capable of providing parental support, though not as capable as the more educated Winthorpes. They also tend not to have as many resources available, further reducing their capacity. Their kids are also more likely to be struggling in school than the Winthorpe's kids since they are probably not as smart. As a result the Six-Pack kids are more difficult to teach and are in more need of parental support. Here we have average parental teachers paired with average students. So, if the six pack kids struggle in school, it will be more of an effort to provide parental support to them than it would be for the Winthorpe kids. The problem is compounded because the parents aren't as capable teachers and won't be able to pick up the slack as well. It's a toss-up as to which of the six-pack kids will succeed or not. Such is your lot when you are average.

The Valentines are the least educated and are the least likely to value education and be capable of providing parental support to their kids. They also are the least likely to have the resources to obtain outside support for their kids. The Valentines are the most dependent on the schools for educating their kids. To make matters worse, their kids tend to be the least smart (though usually smarter than their parents) and tend to require the most parental support. The kids will also be the most difficult to teach. So we have the worst parental teachers paired with the least capable students. How's that for a double whammy and a recipe for academic failure. When the Valentine kids struggle in school, and most of them assuredly will, they have the least capable familial support system available. And, to the extent that the Valentine parents are even capable of providing meaningful support, they get stuck providing it to the least capable kids. As a result, most of the Winthorpe kids will fail academically.

The kids who are going to struggle the most in school will comprise mostly the Valentine kids and the lower half of the Six-Pack kids. And, by "struggle" I mean they aren't learning as much as they should be at school. So now what do we do?

For the most part, schools think they're doing all that they can with these kids, though there's ample evidence that they are not. If you ask a random educator how to solve this dilemma, you're mostly going to hear three answers:
  1. We need more money, even though school funding has increased dramatically after WWII with almost no effect on student achievement. At 2006 funding levels there is a random correlation between educational spending and student achievement.

  2. We need smaller class sizes, even though class sizes have reduced considerably over the years with no discernible effect on student achievement. Even the most optimistic of (scientifically valid) research on class size indicates the effect size would not be educationally significant. This leaves us with the excuse currently favored ...

  3. We need more parental support, even though when we get that parental support it'll come from the Valentines and the lesser six-packs--the parents least capable of providing that support. And when the Winthorpe's provide it we'll mock them as helicopter parents.

Our educators must really believe that when they cry for parental support the highly educated Winthorpes will be coming to their rescue. They don't realize that the Winthorpe kids aren't usually the ones in academic hot water. And, they don't seem to realize that they themselves are the highly educated Winthorpes that society has sent to do the job of educating the least capable for us. And, somehow even though they've failed at the task and in doing so have sucked most of the resources out of the system, they still believe that the second string team of uneducated parents are needed and will be able to clean-up the mess they've left.

Oddly enough, educators don't understand why we've stopped coming to them for solutions and have saddled them with an accountability sytem. NCLB is society's shot across the bow. The message is: schools start doing your job and stop blaming everyone else.

28 comments:

Laura said...

I expected better than those points from you! You are fully aware, I know, that other factors have kicked in besides the spending. More "Valentines" are being required to stay in school these days with tighter truancy laws, etc. Surely you realize the effect of such factors, despite spending.

Further, consider how much the population being served overall has grown. Spending would HAVE to go up to accomodate it, or bottom out.

And as for the average class size going down...please indicate what the supposed larger sizes were to what the average appears to be now. I would suggest that I do my best work when I have 15 in the room, and even though 25 is lower than 30, I cannot give the individuals the attention they deserve with that smaller number.

I think in my school, the community atmosphere hurts education more than individual ill-equipped parents. The apathy in the air is tenable.

Catherine Johnson said...

IQ goes up and down with schooling....Engelmann showed that, as well as many others.

Time to dip into the Flynn Effect!

KDeRosa said...

Laura, let's constrain this discussion to the last three decades. Things have pretty much stayed the same as far as expectations go.

I'm talking per pupil spending. See Understanding the 20th Century Growth in U.S. School Spending

Re class sizes see The Evidence on Class Size for a full discussion.

KDeRosa said...

Catherine, fluctuating IQ in children is mostly an artifact of how we test IQ for children. Once they get adult IQ tests things stabilize.

SteveH said...

From another thread:

"The whole community focus is short-term, not what they'll do after they can't hang dry wall anymore or they get busted for dealing. That, I feel, is a problem that starts at home and that 6 hours a day in school cannot remedy."

By the time they get to your class, that is probably true, but as I have said here and elsewhere, the problem of education is not defined by what walks into your classroom. This thinking usually results in requests for more money, smaller class sizes, or more parental support, which won't happen for these kids.

The false assumption is that these kids would be this way no matter what the school does. There has to be some way that a school can determine whether (from Kindergarten) their curriculum and teaching methods work. Schools can't teach whatever and however they want and then blame bad results on external causes (like "atmosphere")- especially in the lower grades. The results of 4th grade standardized testing is so bad and the tests are so trivial that the only explanations are bad curricula and teaching - low or no expectations.

This doesn't mean that there won't be many kids who, even in the early grades and despite good teaching, don't care. However, schools shouldn't pass them along to screw up everyone else's education. If schools cannot do this, they are failures.

There is another teaching world out there where kids and parents do care. Our town has lots of those. There are few problems with "atmosphere". But, there are huge problems anyways. Once again, the problems of education are not just defined by schools in areas where the parents don't care.

So, in our area, where there are few external excuses, there are serious philosophical and educational problems. Does anyone imagine that these problems disappear in the poorer school districts? The effects of many years of bad education might look like external forces, but one has to look more carefully.

Mike in Texas said...

KDeRosa as always uses "proof" from people who have no business doing education studies, in this case from The Institute of Political Economy.

From their website:

"The program focuses on investigating the relationship between the economy and politics as they affect the social and cultural life of societies, and secondly, focuses on the historical processes whereby social change is located in the interaction of the economic, political, cultural, and ideological moments of social life."

For REAL information on class size you might want to check out:

http://www.serve.org/rsi/images/HCSMAD.pdf

paid for the US govt, which summarizes research from Tennessee's STAR project, Wisconsin's SAGE program, CA's horribly managed and applied program and other small scale programs.

From the STAR program:


"The STAR findings consistently showed a positive small-class effect. “At each grade level (K–3),
across all school locations (rural, urban, inner city, suburban), on every achievement measure
(criterion-referenced and norm-referenced tests), and for all subjects (reading, mathematics,
science, social science, language, study skills), the small-class students exceeded their peers in
regular and regular/aide classes. The results were both statistically and educationally significant”
1 (Boyd-Zaharias & Pate-Bain, 2000)."

"Small classes reduced the white-minority
achievement gap. While all students
significantly benefited from participation
in small classes, the greatest advantages
were found for minority, inner-city
students from low socio-economic
backgrounds (Word et al., 1990). The
benefit of small classes for minority
students (most of whom were African-
American in this study) was about twice
as large as that for white students (Finn,
1998)"

"STAR students who attended small
classes in grades K–3 generally performed
better academically than their
regular-class peers in math, reading, and
science in each of grades 4, 6, and 8."

"The researchers concluded
that “carryover effects were
consistently significant only for students
who had attended small classes for
three to four years. Four years in a
small class put students nearly a whole
school year ahead of their counterparts
who had attended larger classes in K–
3” (Finn, Gerber, Achilles, & Boyd-
Zaharias, 2001)."

Graduated on schedule at a higher rate
(76%) than students from either the regular
classes (64%) or the regular classes with
an aide (70%).

"Completed school with an honors diploma
more often (45%) than students from either
the regular classes (29%)"

"Dropped out of school less often (15%)
compared to the regular classes (24%)"

From the SAGE project:

"CTBS post-test scores showed that SAGE
students statistically outperformed their
comparison school counterparts in reading,
language arts, math, and total scores."

"African-American SAGE students scored
lower on the pre-test in every sub-test,
except reading, than African-American
comparison students. Post-test results,
however, showed that African-American
SAGE students scored significantly
higher than African-American comparison
school students on every subtest and
had significantly higher total scores."

"African-American SAGE second-graders
significantly outperformed their African-
American comparison school counterparts
in mathematics, language arts, and
total scores at the end of second grade"

"As class size rises above 15 students, the
class average academic score lowers."

California's program had the net effect of lowering elementary class sizes from something like 29.9 to 29, hardly aligned with research.

So why isn't this research based program used? Well, it doesn't make McGraw-Hill or Pearson Education any money. In fact, the federal govt. has actually cut money for these effective programs under NCLB.

KDeRosa said...

MiT, stick to teaching because you don't know how to interpret research.

What was the effect size for STAR for each grade? Were any of them educationally significant (> than .25 SD)? Have the effects been replicatable? Why wouldn't we want to implement such an expensive program with success a small effect size?

Now do the same for SAGE.

Now explain this confounding variable in SAGE: "[T]he SAGE project class size reductions were accompanied by other program initiatives: participating schools were also required to implement a rigorous academic curriculum, provide before and after school activities for students and community members, and implement professional development and accountability programs."

Now back away from the research slowly until you know how to read it.

Mike in Texas said...

KDeRosa,

YOU should stick to whatever it does and leave education to the professionals .

Here are all the statistics I need, straight from the article I linked to:

- Graduated on schedule at a higher rate
(76%) than students from either the regular
classes (64%) or the regular classes with
an aide (70%).

- Completed school with an honors diploma
more often (45%) than students from either
the regular classes (29%) or the regular
classes with an aide (31%).

- The STAR findings consistently showed a positive small-class effect. “At each grade level (K–3),
across all school locations (rural, urban, inner city, suburban), on every achievement measure
(criterion-referenced and norm-referenced tests), and for all subjects (reading, mathematics,
science, social science, language, study skills), the small-class students exceeded their peers in
regular and regular/aide classes. The results were both statistically and educationally significant”
1 (Boyd-Zaharias & Pate-Bain, 2000).

Oops, I forgot to mention, reducing class size to 15 wouldn't make your god Englemann any money either.

BTW, perhaps you missed this little gem in the research:

"statistically and educationally significant”

SMiller said...

I found your blog from your Carnival post this week, and I have to say that I have been impressed and challenged by your arguments. Your blog reminds me of one of my district trainers' favorite sayings: "Our parents send us the best children they have -- they're not keeping the good ones at home."

I am just finishing my first year teaching (Algebra I and Geometry), and I know I could have done a better job, although I think I did the best that I could. I've always believed that direct instruction made much more sense than the constructivist nonsense my ed-professors tried to sell me on, but I'll admit it's harder to put that into practice in my heterogeneous classroom (math preparation and abilities ranging from outstanding to clueless).

I realize you're not a teacher, but I wondered if you could point me to any resources that could help me adapt the benefits and structure of DI to the environment I'm stuck with.

KDeRosa said...

MiT, those aren't effect sizes. Do you even know what an effect size is?

You keep on telling us about how much we should just listen to teachers and here you go making a fundamental mistake like this. You should be more cautious when you cite shaky analysis like this.

And, is that Engelmann jab a tacit admission that there exists a need for improved student achievement. Tell me it ain't so, MiT.

KDeRosa said...

Hi smiller.

Someone asked me a similar question a few days back. I gave some recommendations here.

SRA also has a DI corrective math program.

Hope that helps.

Laura said...

KDerosa, "We need more money, even though school funding has increased dramatically after WWII with almost no effect on student achievement" is not the last 3 decades.

At any rate, I would contend that the quantity of spending is not what needs to be raised so much as the quality of it. ETS and testing companies can charge more and more as testing is more in demand and requirements are constantly changing as to what's to be tested. I'm virtually positive we would disagree on what quality spending was anyway.

Also, I am perplexed by the "aggregate data." On what populations is this based? Is it across the country? In my four years of teaching and student teaching I have worked in classes of 15 or fewer THREE TIMES. I have worked in classes of over 25 at least that many times. I find these statistics sketchy to say the least.

Furthermore, these are statistics from when I was in junior high. I was in ONE class under 15 the entire time: the class for "gifted kids." And I went to some decent schools--"excellence" award winning schools. If they didn't have the low numbers to bring down the average, who did? Was it the inner-city schools that did so poorly? Was it the rural schools like the one where I teach now?

Another problem we encounter here is the "any warm body" syndrome. More variables must be monitored than sheer ratios. When we call for smaller classes, we do not call for just anyone to take the overflow, but that's what we get. Don't you think that's a problem related to prestige/pay in the profession? I cannot tell you how many of my own students have said to me, "I couldn't be a teacher and put up with these jerks." It is difficult to attract talented professionals when they think that's what the job looks like: put up with those jerks, and when they can anticipate pay lower than most any other job requiring a 4-year degree.

Furthermore, expectations have NOT stayed the same, much less since I was in junior high. NCLB came about when I was in college. Expectations have changed. Government support now hinges on not only the numbers on the score sheets, but also on the numbers kept in school, numbers graduating on time, and numbers in attendance. Trust me, our school did not meet AYP because we were successful in bringing dropouts back to meet one standard, but then that success caused the number graduating in 4 years to drop.

And, for Steveh: if the atmosphere is or is not a product of a failed system--one of which I was not a part when the failure was begun or completed--is it not unfair to expect me to reverse the effects immediately? Or to expect any system to do it? Environmental attitudes cannot be overcome in a year or even in a generation often times. I recommend Ruby K. Payne's A Framework for Understanding Poverty. The characteristics of the "Generational Poverty" attitude ring true with the local population.

Anonymous said...

MiT -- Before praising STARS I suggest you look at the State of Tennessee statistics very carefully. I would start with Nashville/Davidson County and move out from there. While the lower class size is great for kids in K-3 our schools lose momentum rapidly and slide horribly down hill for grades 5 - 12. Even in Tennessee we said STARS did not work.

KDeRosa said...

Laura, what is quality spending and why do you think our schools will spend wisely?

The data is on teacher/student ratio, not class size per se. What likely happened was that we hired a whole bunch of extra teachers and aides and instead of lowering class size, they just decided to spread the extra teachers around and teach less.

There's some support for that notion in Digest of Education Statistics

From 1961-2001, class sizes in elementary schools decreased from 29 to 21 while class sizes in secondary schools slightly increased from 27 to 28.

Teachers get paid comparably to other professions with the same amount of comparable education. You can't compare yourselves to doctors, lawyers, and engineers. The bad work conditions are caused by mismangament of the schools themselves. Hopefully, this aspect will change.

Expectations have not changes. Only the accountability has. Schools let things get out of control.

Mike in Texas said...

KDeRosa :

When you're discussing class size reduction the number you want is students per classroom, not students per teacher.

Students per teacher is an easily manipulated number but REAL class size reduction refers to students per classroom.

KDeRosa said...

MiT, if you look two comments up, that's pretty much what I said.

Although t/s ratios are also important, because that's the number of teachers we're paying for. Ideally, the numbers should track each other if extra teachers are being used to reduce class size instead of relieving teacher workload.

Another issue is that some or all of these teachers could have been diverted to special needs kids which is a whole nother issue.

Jenny D. said...

My big quibble is with the desires or aims of the parents. You don't know that the Valentine's aren't huge supporters of academic success. Just because they are poor, doesn't necessarily mean their kids will be dumb or misbehaved.

There was an interesting study in Michigan of parent's desire for education for their children. Minorities and immigrants tended to be the most concerned with the education of their children as the driver behind their future success as adults. White, middle-class parents were the least concerned, in part because they assumed their high-school educated children would get good jobs.

KDeRosa said...

Hi JennyD.

I agree. Most parents want their children to succeed academically. But parental IQ affects their ability to provide that support.

My debating opponets in the last few threads are trying to paint with a very broad brush and demonize these parents by implying they don't care about their kids or behave inappropraitely. In fact its more an ability deficiency than anything else. So when they call for parental support, they don't seem to realize the quality of the support they're going to be getting.

Just because they are poor, doesn't necessarily mean their kids will be dumb or misbehaved.

No, but they do tend to be less smart and more misbehaved than other groups.

Laura said...

I think schools themselves--presuming proper management, a safe assumption at my school at least--would do much better jobs than politiciands spending the money wisely. How many hours a week does any given Rep. or Senator spend among teenagers? How many hours a week does any given congressman spend assessing or instructing? Who are the experts, honestly? There may be informed non-teaching citizens like yourself, but let's be frank: they're not running the government.

Yet the government decides where the money goes: on tests to "prove" and "disprove" things, on statistics in whatever form they can get them.

As for teacher/student, your new argument may indicate a mismanagement of funds within the school, or be an indication of government mismanagement, OR it may just snatch the legs out from under any contention you've made about classroom size efficacy. Probably a combination of all three.

And I do not compare myself to doctors, lawyers, or PhD professors. I compare myself to those in the corporate world, to those in politics, to those in technological fields.

I agree that the bad conditions are related to mismanagement. I think this mismanagement stems from misunderstanding. I refer again to Payne's treatment of classlines, expectations, and values. Students--your "Valentines"--often come to us with different values, different guidelines for what is acceptable and what is desirable. While your "Winthorpes" value education (at least on paper) and accept the rules that must be followed to obtain it, the "Valentines" value relationships over appearance. They value saving face over A's.

This is what non-educators and poor educators rarely acknowledge. This is what causes problem in testing, in classroom management, and in statistics.

Previously, the government did not expect us to "reach" everyone. For decades--centuries--it was assumed that some were born college material and some were born ditch diggers, deny it though you may want to.

Then again, you seem to espouse this notion, with your Winthorpes and Valentines. And somehow a script is supposed to change all of that?

SteveH said...

"And, for Steveh: if the atmosphere is or is not a product of a failed system--one of which I was not a part when the failure was begun or completed--is it not unfair to expect me to reverse the effects immediately?"

Once again, this is not about you. You have to read my posts carefully. As for atmosphere, are you talking about the community or in the schools? Schools can have great control over their own atmosphere if they want to.


"I recommend Ruby K. Payne's A Framework for Understanding Poverty. The characteristics of the "Generational Poverty" attitude ring true with the local population."

Passing the buck again. What does this mean? That parents cannot expect schools to do anything with ANY kids who live in these areas? The success of a school is not about average scores. It's about providing the best educational opportunities for each child right now, not sometime later when certain external conditions are met. I have never talked about what you personally should or should not do as a teacher. (other than focus on fixing the system rather than just your own problems)

If schools want to break the cycle of poverty, they have to do it one child at a time, not for everyone all at once. This means separating kids based on ability or willingness to work. Poverty or parental IQ does equate to stupid for individual children.

SteveH said...

"So when they call for parental support, they don't seem to realize the quality of the support they're going to be getting."

The real problem is that parental support is just not defined. For me, the parental support I give has to do with making up for really bad curricula, low expectations, and lousy homework projects that could not be done by my son because they didn't teach him what is needed to do the job.

SteveH said...

Sorry:
Poverty or parental IQ does NOT equate to stupid for individual children.

KDeRosa said...

Laura, as long as education is a public good, it will be run by politicians. As long as schools are doing such a bad job that supervision will be close. But, you are right that there are so few experts, in and out of the system, that know what they are doing. That's why this blog is named as it is.

Yet the government decides where the money goes: on tests to "prove" and "disprove" things

Is there any other way to run things?

As for teacher/student, your new argument may indicate a mismanagement of funds within the school, or ...

There are two main class size arguments. 1. the historical trend using t/s ration which has resulted in a classroom size reduction from 29-20 in elementary school and overall misuse of teachers and 2. the lack of good research showing that reduced class size (by itself) results in much increased student achievement.

Even MiT's beloved Star Project only showed a tiny effect size (0.2) which only applied to disadvantaged kids in K. This is a tiny benefit for such a large expense. To put it in persepective, that effect size would raise the typical Title I school from the 20th percentile all the way up to the 28th percentile. Wahoo!

I compare myself to those in the corporate world, to those in politics, to those in technological fields.

This is too broad to be useful. You should be comparing teacher pay to similar 4 yr college (non-tech) professionals. I think you'll find that teachers get paid very favorably.

This is what non-educators and poor educators rarely acknowledge. This is what causes problem in testing, in classroom management, and in statistics.

Again I disagree. The effects you see are byproducts academic failure by those on the lower part of the IQ scale. It does not take much failure to kill motivation.

Previously, the government did not expect us to "reach" everyone.

The expectation has always been there at least since Title I. But, until NCLB, the gov't never enforced the provisions.

The argument for public schools back in the 1840's was that a democracy needs edducated citizens. SO we were going to start paying to educate all the people who never would have gotten a shot at education.

Then again, you seem to espouse this notion, with your Winthorpes and Valentines.

No. The Valentines will be more difficult to educate, but they can be.

And somehow a script is supposed to change all of that?

The scripts are only needed because ed schools don't teach teachers how to teach effectively. And, the programs with those scripts have an effect size of at least 1.0 standard deviations. That is enough to raise the school at the 20th percentile up to at least the 50th percentile.

SteveH said...

"There are two main class size arguments."

My contention is that child-centered, group learning, teacher as facilitator, differentiated instruction education needs smaller class sizes because it is so inefficient. But, there is even a limit to how small class sizes can help this approach.

For example, if you have a 45 minute class and reduce the class size from 20 to 15, how, exactly, does this help? You still have just 45 minutes. For a traditional class, the students who are left still needs your full attention for 45 minutes. For a progressive, child-centered approach where the teacher floats around the classroom, you now have 3 minutes to spend with each student rather than 2.25 minutes. Fewer students mean less grading that the teacher has to do, but that is not what we are talking about here, is it?

I've taught traditional classes with just 3 students in them and classes with 30 students. There wasn't a huge advantage for the students in the small class. I can't learn the material for the students. They have to do it themselves.

For the modern, progressive, full-inclusion, child-centered approach, the teacher has to fly around the room trying to meet everyone's needs using a very inefficient model of teaching. Smaller class sizes might help a little, but it is still a very inefficient form of education.

Tracy W said...

Previously, the government did not expect us to "reach" everyone. For decades--centuries--it was assumed that some were born college material and some were born ditch diggers, deny it though you may want to.

Speaking as a non-teacher, non-parent, but a taxpayer, I want the schools to reach everyone. At least the ditch diggers can learn to read and write and do basic arithmetic.

And judging by early arguments in favour of public education, such as Adam Smith's, the initial idea was that nearly everyone would learn to read and write, that schools would reach everyone. To quote Adam Smith:
"But though the common people cannot, in any civilized society, be so well instructed as people of some rank and fortune, the most essential parts of education, however, to read, write, and account, can be acquired at so early a period of life that the greater part even of those who are to be bred to the lowest occupations have time to acquire them before they can be employed in those occupations. For a very small expence the public can facilitate, can encourage, and can even impose upon almost the whole body of the people the necessity of acquiring those most essential parts of education.
The public can facilitate this acquisition by establishing in every parish or district a little school, where children may be taught for a reward so moderate that even a common labourer may afford it; the master being partly, but not wholly, paid by the public, because, if he was wholly, or even principally, paid by it, he would soon learn to neglect his business. In Scotland the establishment of such parish schools has taught almost the whole common people to read, and a very great proportion of them to write and account. In England the establishment of charity schools has had an effect of the same kind, though not so universally, because the establishment is not so universal."
B.V, Ch.1, Of the Expences of the Sovereign or Commonwealth, The Wealth of Nations.

Tracy W said...

I have made a discovery! KDeRosa is Adam Smith in disguise!

"Where the masters, however, really perform their duty, there are no examples, I believe, that the greater part of the students ever neglect theirs. No discipline is ever requisite to force attendance upon lectures which are really worth the attending, as is well known wherever any such lectures are given. Force and restraint may, no doubt, be in some degree requisite in order to oblige children, or very young boys, to attend to those parts of education which it is thought necessary for them to acquire during that early period of life; but after twelve or thirteen years of age, provided the master does his duty, force or restraint can scarce ever be necessary to carry on any part of education." Ibid.

Come on KDeRosa, admit it!

Mr. Person said...

Is parental involvement the panacea to our educational woes?

Educators would have us believe that it is.


That's not true. So I stopped there.

KDeRosa said...

What exactly is your position, J.D.? You haven't exactly stated it clearly or indicated how it's supposed to solve the student achievement problems. Best I can tell, is that parents and students are somehow implicated and you think that teachers could be doing better. But how are we supposed to get from point A to point B?