That is why is it was puzzling to go over the finer points of Gov. Beverly Perdue’s new education initiative, “Ready, Set, Go,” and notice that absent in the proposal was a continued focus on greater involvement by parents to insure their child’s academic success.
While the proposal has some new ideas, much of it is window dressing; repackaged to make it exciting.
Some of the proposals have been around for years, smaller class sizes, preparing children for the first grade, providing proper nutrition before and during school-age years, more emphasis on math and science, attacking the dropout rate, working with low performing schools, and better pay for better teachers.
A couple of the proposals have become important over the last decade; online learning and putting more technology in the hands of students and teachers.
Learning online has the capacity to revolutionize education, offering students the chance access instructors that lead the world in their respective disciplines.
But all of those excellent intentions can disappear like smoke in the wind without one core element of success...support at home from a parent or guardian who takes an active role in reinforcing what happens daily in the classroom.
And the reason is clear; when a parent, or for that matter, any authority figure in the home, supports a child’s daily learning in school, success is not far behind.
In fact, study after study over the last four decades have demonstrated time and time again that parental involvement in a child’s education is a better indicator of academic success than even a student’s socio-economic background.
Imagine that; no matter where a student comes from, when they walk into a classroom, the playing field levels – everyone is equal.
With that at stake, we would think there would be a tremendous effort undertaken to find ways to increase parents’ levels of involvement.
New initiatives are great. As a state we must continue to make positive strides to prepare our students for the future.
When looking for the keys to success, great schools and teachers help, but they are almost always found at home.