Many thanks to Katherine Smith for her comprehensive and helpful coverage of the “fail” label for schools in Washington state. My understanding of all these issues has also been helped by reading the in-depth article in The Christian Science Monitor, entitled “Education Reform: Does it add up?” (can be found by Googling “Education reform CS Monitor”).
I think that too much emphasis has been placed on the importance of competent teachers. Academic success begins with parents who start when their children are infants to talk with them often about more than the tasks of daily life – to explain how things work, what is happening around them, what is responsible, respectful, kind, just, honest living, and the value of learning and hard work. Add to that reading to and playing with children from an early age and they will be ready to benefit from what our teachers present to them in school.
Education, in its root meaning, is a “leading out” – leading students out of ignorance, but also bringing out in them the intelligence, wisdom, integrity, strength, and love that I believe they already have within them, rather than having to get them.
No matter what the outcome of this “game of chicken” is between state and federal lawmakers, we have the resources right now, within our own families right here, to be sure our kids are well-prepared for life. This is no time for discouragement.