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Good ReadsThe Used Car Sales Lot and Your Child’s Education....

The Used Car Sales Lot and Your Child’s Education....

The Used Car Sales Lot and Your Child’s Education....
What is said to be true, what is perceived to be true, and what is true, in both the Used Car Sales Lot and in the Ontario school system, needs to be considered carefully by those buying into either! If you think all three are the same, it is time to get more informed! If you then still think all three are the same, it is time to get much more actively involved!

When you read the literature and websites created by the Ministry of Education, by our school boards, and by individual schools you get the impression that the best and latest educational research is being fully applied and that the programming is meeting almost every possible individual need, of almost every possible kind of child. These descriptors are intended to inform parents and taxpayers of what is happening in Ontario schools.

When parents attend a PTA meeting, read school/class newsletters, visit their child’s class for an Open House, see stickers and high grades on assignments and review report cards with A’s and B’s, they perceive that their child’s educational needs are being met, that their child is progressing extremely well, and that their child is being well prepared for life choices ahead.

When you work within the system, however, especially as a teacher, an educational assistant, or as a regular volunteer, the lens changes dramatically and the reality of what schools are honestly able to do comes into complete, unblurred, starkly clear focus! The truth of the situation becomes alarmingly obvious because you, yourself, and the top people in the field you know, are trying your damnedest to deliver the promised land to all! You quickly come to realize that it is an impossibility to accomplish the expectations of the ideologues, politicians and parents who drive the system, without the money, staffing, training, time, space, group size and homogeneity, and resources required to implement some of the philosophies and programming advertised as happening!

Parents need to know this. Parents need to realize they must be very active in educating their children at home. Parents need to ask more questions and say what role they want the school to play in preparing their child for life. Parents need to  "get it"  that decisions about monetary expenditures and direction are not necessarily made in the best interests of the majority of students. Here, as in most life settings, the squeaky wheel gets the grease! Parents need to realize the power of administrators and board trustees in determining exactly what is served up to their kids at school and the implications of those decisions.

All of this is to say, parents cannot be bystanders in their child’s education. They cannot assume all is well and under control. They dare not believe what is said to be true or what they may perceive to be true. What is true, is definitely in need of full disclosure and transparency so expectations are realistic, money gets spent on ensuring the basics of education are accomplished, and that kids are very competent in the those skills which will truly prepare them for each step ahead, that will present itself.

I urge every parent to get involved in their child’s education. Spend time daily reinforcing academic skills. Volunteer in the school regularly if possible. Attend meetings both at the school and board level. Ask questions. Demand truth and clear honest explanations. Know the trustee candidates, support your choice and vote at election time. Do not allow the school system to display the characteristics associated with the Used Car Sales Lot!

So says the wisdom of experience.

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