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Thu Dec 6, 2012, 06:59 PM

Arne Duncan: we need more parents "demanding a great education for their children"

Instead of making demands on educators, how about demanding from parents. How about demanding more parental involvement, supervision, discipline, caring, tutoring and communication. How about demanding that parents read to their pre-school children daily at the earliest age. How about demanding that parents communicate expectations to their children that they will work hard to pass each grade and graduate. How about demanding that parents make sure homework is done nightly, that parents set limits and make sure their children get enough sleep and that parents monitor their children's progress, attend parent/teacher nights etc.

Arne Duncan
@arneduncan
We need more parents, neighborhood, business & faith-based leaders demanding a great education for their children & communities.

https://twitter.com/arneduncan

19 replies, 1490 views

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Reply Arne Duncan: we need more parents "demanding a great education for their children" (Original post)
Mr. Blue Sky Dec 2012 OP
mzteris Dec 2012 #1
liberal_at_heart Dec 2012 #2
Mr. Blue Sky Dec 2012 #9
Mr. Blue Sky Dec 2012 #5
liberal_at_heart Dec 2012 #3
mzteris Dec 2012 #4
madfloridian Dec 2012 #6
liberal_at_heart Dec 2012 #10
madfloridian Dec 2012 #12
mzteris Dec 2012 #19
liberal_at_heart Dec 2012 #8
LeftyMom Dec 2012 #7
Riley18 Dec 2012 #15
DearAbby Dec 2012 #11
msongs Dec 2012 #13
theaocp Dec 2012 #14
KoKo Dec 2012 #16
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #17
ulysses Dec 2012 #18

Response to Mr. Blue Sky (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:17 PM

1. Is the paragraph yours?

Nice sentiment and wonderful - in theory.

Poverty, single moms, working two or three jobs. Mental health, drug. Alcohol abuse. Lack of parental education. Lack of time, money, resources. Abilities orl lack thereof,disabilities. No healthcare. No transportation . No or poor habitation . One room apt, lots of kids. Not enough time or money or food. Or sleep or help or hope or kknowledge of where how to even get these things.

Parents raised in poverty and violence usually stay here. Rinse.repet.

Oh, and lets not forget the inherent institutionalizd racism. Nd unconscious racism.

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Response to mzteris (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:25 PM

2. funny how that point is always ignored

The poor need help not more blame. They get plenty of that from republicans.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:47 PM

9. Well... I don't blame the teachers.

and I agree... poverty DOES have a lot to do with it...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021938742#post5

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Response to mzteris (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:43 PM

5. Yes - mine... I agree poverty is the #1 problem.

But these values must still be communicated by our leaders regardless. Demanding "a great education for children" from teachers is also a nice and wonderful sentiment - in theory. There's no reason we can't make demands on parents and try to eliminate the negative aspects of poverty simultaneously.

Dianne Ravitch originally supported No Child Left Behind and charter schools, she later became "disillusioned," and wrote, "I no longer believe that either approach will produce the quantum improvement in American education that we all hope for." In the major national evaluation, 17% of charters got higher scores, 46% were no different, and 37% were significantly worse than public schools, she said. High-stakes testing, "utopian" goals, "draconian" penalties, school closings, privatization, and charter schools didn't work, she concluded. "The best predictor of low academic performance is poverty—not bad teachers."

My wife is a kindergarten teacher at an inner city public school - she's been teaching there for over 20 years. The teacher is an extension of the parent/authority figure in a child's life. If the parent doesn't establish positive expectations and continuously monitor the progress of the child from grade to grade, then the chance of success in learning is extremely difficult.

Most of my wife's students come from one parent families (14 out of 18 last year), usually female, and a lot of those are grandmothers. These are children born out of wedlock to teen age women (some as young as 12) with no parenting skills. The father abandons them in most cases and the kid is passed off to the grandmother many times. A typical parent/teacher night or open house attracts maybe 2 or 3 parents in her class.

The ability to learn is severely impaired by the stress on a child from one or a combination of things... when the parent is single, unemployed, on drugs, alcoholic or abusive. A teacher is almost powerless to overcome these obstacles. My wife has seen a direct correlation with parental apathy, abuse etc. vs. learning ability, comprehension and staying on task.

Kids with learning disabilities are usually from abusive families and also suffer from personality disorders as well. These are angry children where learning is way down the list of priorities. They're angry about being abandoned and not cared for by a mother who's more concerned about getting high then how they do in school.

By the time these kids get into high school with 3nd grade reading skills and realize what opportunity was squandered - it's too late. They become unemployable following the path of their role model parents by dropping out of school, abusing drugs, having babies out of wedlock - and it becomes a vicious circle. No amount of money, vouchers, de-unionization will fix this problem.

If I could point to one sector of society where change could make the most difference with in our education system it would be to focus on young, unwed single mothers. The money that is wasted trying to raise the standards of teachers and increase the performance of those students who are abused, unwilling or unable to learn would be better spent on drug counseling, sex education, parenting skills and life coaching for teenage single mothers.

My wife can attest to the accuracy of Ravitch's observations... the "teaching to the test" mentality of teachers who are terrified of losing their jobs and thus focus on math and reading to the detriment of students learning history, science and other subjects. My wife related to me the other night that students in her K-8 school have not been on a field trip in three years due because there’s no value to it as it relates to reading and math.

So much one-on-one time is spent on kids with major behavioral problems, abused kids from drug using single mothers with and kids with way below average IQ’s that the "normal" kids who have the ability to learn and achieve are neglected. There is no shortage of aids and tutors in her public school but they are all focused on the dregs.. trying to bring their test scores up so the school is not classified as in "academic emergency".

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Response to Mr. Blue Sky (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:26 PM

3. how about we demand to get rid of Arne Duncan

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:38 PM

4. He really isnttheproblem

Despite what some may have you think.

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Response to mzteris (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:45 PM

6. Yes, he is a huge part of the problem.

And parents can not be excused from their duties as well...parents. Poverty or not, they bear responsibility, as do the children for what they become.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:51 PM

10. poverty stricken parents need help

I think one of the educational investments we need to make is in community centers. Teach parenting skills. Tutor parents in reading, math, and science so they know how to help their kids with homework. Hell, offer tutoring for kids at the community center as well. Better subsidized daycare is another need with low income parents as well. We have created these bad parents because they are the ones whom the school system failed in past generations and now they have no skills and no tools to help them help their children. It is an ugly cycle they cannot break without help.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:33 PM

12. I never said they didn't need help. Of course they do.

I worked with desperate parents in poverty for decades. The teacher can help them with resources if they are available. It does not excuse them from responsibility for their children.

Putting all the blame on the teachers is counter-productive. That is my argument. It is a shared responsibility for the children.

As it stands now many of those resources are victims of the deficit craziness.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 12:43 AM

19. Omg you're so right

Teenage drug using moms with barely an eduction, drug addiction and mental health issues should just get their shit together and be good moms and provide safe housing, healthy nutritious food, and lots of early childhood enrichment activities.

Wow. You're genius.

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Response to mzteris (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:47 PM

8. For the first time in my life I have become a single issue voter and education is it

I have seen my autistic son struggle in this failing public school system and I am one ticked off parent. I don't like who is behind the charter movement and I don't like that democratic politicians support charters. I believe they should be fixing the problems from within the system. Our entire public school system needs more funding. It needs more flexible curriculum and it needs to focus more on creating critical thinkers and problem solvers instead of mindless test takers.

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Response to Mr. Blue Sky (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:45 PM

7. I don't want any "faith-based leaders" anywhere near my kid.

Also, Arne Duncan is a tool.

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Response to LeftyMom (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:47 PM

15. I agree. He is a corporate tool.

The parents should focus on demanding adequate funding for their kid's school, and decent paying jobs for themselves. What a complete waste of an important position. Someone with real concern for public schools would have been a much better choice.

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Response to Mr. Blue Sky (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 07:59 PM

11. I totally agree

if a class room requires more than one teacher...get them, our children are worth it. I don't understand cuts to education, or a child's welfare. It does take a village damn it. We all love our babies..just pass it forward.

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Response to Mr. Blue Sky (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:39 PM

13. sorry but our current political leadership prefers to spend our money on war nt

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Response to Mr. Blue Sky (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:41 PM

14. How nice

Come out against charters and the privatization of our public schools while strengthening same public schools. Then we'll start taking you seriously. Get thee back to the basketball court, Arne.

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Response to Mr. Blue Sky (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 08:47 PM

16. Ohhhh ARNIE! we Dems SWOON on your Every Word as our kids go down the sewer!

Nothing else to say. He is what our President wants and the GREAT EXPERIMENT will Move Forward in the Education of our Children all over this Great Land.

Hope it works out for everyone. I'm glad I have no kids left in this system. But, it doesn't mean I don't care...but, there's not a damned thing I can do about it. It's up to the Parents who Fight...like we did many years ago when "other reforms/experiments" took over everything. We didn't win...and those who could afford took our kids out of the Public Schools because we couldn't win when we saw what was coming.

The inequity of what we could sacrifice to afford versus those who couldn't haunts me...but, that's what it is and the Parents of kids today...need to hit back and maybe THEIR Efforts will be successful if they can break through...eventually.

"POWER TO THE PARENTS" ....Get Out there and DO IT!

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Response to Mr. Blue Sky (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:02 PM

17. Why would a parent take advice from a man who said Hurricane Katrina was the best thing to happen

to public education in New Orleans?

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Response to Mr. Blue Sky (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 09:03 PM

18. Demand it, and it will come.

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