If you have children, you know that each one of them is unique, possessing different talents, skills and needs. That’s something our education system should celebrate, but unfortunately, the current consensus in education relies on the outdated assumption that a one-size-fits-all model of centralized education is best for our kids.
Instead of taking a common-sense approach that recognizes different needs, our current system assigns children to public schools, regardless of the child’s needs or parents’ desires. Few families have the financial and scheduling flexibility to pay for a private school, home school or move to a better school district.
On the contrary, it’s overwhelmingly clear that improved flexibility and control for parents and local school districts have helped improve education. After all, it’s parents, not the government, that should have the freedom to choose the kind of school and education that is best for their child.
Far too many families lack that freedom, however, which is why it’s critical that families understand how to advocate for themselves. If you’re already unhappy with the lack of educational choices available to you, the next step is to speak up!
Chances are, if you aren’t happy with your educational options, you aren’t alone. Sometimes all it takes for change to happen is for one person to speak up.
Here are a few questions that will help you understand what’s happening in your child’s school, make the best decision for your child’s education, and become a change-maker in your local school system:
- How has student achievement changed in recent years in my school? You can find out here. This is a great way to figure out how education policies are impacting your child’s school in real life.
- How does my district assess teachers? Are teachers assessed on student performance and/or improvement? Every district takes a different approach to deciding which teachers are doing a good job (and which teachers aren’t), but it’s important to know if your school takes bad teachers seriously.
- How does the school hold weaker teachers accountable and reward great teachers? Once you find out how teachers are assessed, it’s important to discover what your child’s school does with those assessments. The assessment doesn’t matter if it doesn’t impact the education your child receives!
- Is my child getting the attention they need in a small class, or is their teacher overwhelmed by a high student-to-teacher ratio? Even the best teacher will struggle with an oversized class. Make sure your child is in a class that gives great teachers the room to do their job well.
- Am I being kept up to date on my child’s progress? It’s important that educators and parents are engaged and cooperative. Make sure that you have a two-way channel between you and your child’s teacher!
At the end of the day, remember that local schools serve your family and are paid for with your tax dollars. Don’t be afraid to take ownership! Every child deserves a great education and a shot at the American Dream, and the parents and citizens paying for it deserve a return on their investment in America’s next generation.
We hope you’ve found these tips helpful. It is crucial for each member of a community to take charge of his or her life by taking advantage of the incredible freedom you have to demand accountability in education, which is why we’re dedicated to helping individuals learn how to bring real change to their schools and communities.
To learn more about how you can become an advocate for liberty, visit us at http://grassrootsleadershipacademy.org/.