Ever wonder why Parent Rights are not written down anywhere — not at the school or the school board? Parents do have rights — see http://genuine-education-reform-today.org/2010/04/06/parent-rights-and-their-childrens-education/
It’s much more convenient for a smooth-running system not to have assertive consumers.
But teachers, who are themselves parents, know these rights well and in a public school system many services are scarce and rationed. Teacher/parents (T/Ps) know how to work the system on behalf of their own children. T/Ps, being thus satisfied, do not generally see how unfair this is for parents who do not have the inside advantages.
1 Teacher/parents know the language, the words, to use.
2 T/Ps know how to navigate the system: who to see, what to say, what to ask for.
3 T/Ps know how to interpret assessments, scores and evaluations and know where their child really stands in grade level and expectations.
4 If the student is behind in reading, for example, the T/P can make up the deficiency at home or hire a tutor for precisely what is needed.
5 T/Ps are at an income level where buying extra tutoring is no problem.
6 If the T/P’s child might be special needs a psychosocial assessment is readily arranged — contrast with the often two-year waiting period for other parents.
7 Once such an assessment is made, an IEP (Individual Education Program) is negotiated between school and parent, and here again the T/P is advantaged because of knowledge of the maximum that can be available.
8 Once the IEP is in place, extra funding and resources are made available.
9 If a T/P sees there is a poor fit between their child and a teacher it is relatively easy to switch teachers as again, the “insider” language is a bonus — knowing how to explain why the child would be better off in an “unthreatening” way that does not reflect on the other teacher helps.
10 T/Ps feel keenly the urgency of child growth and development — he’s a child only once coming this way — and press their case with adeptness and urgency which in other parents would be seen as “pushy” or “helicopter parenting”.
11 T/Ps are knowledgeable about the legalities of malpractice and can use this as background allusion to further press their case if needed.
12 T/Ps are conscious of the safeguards that should be in place in cases of bullying, adoption of new untested programs or psychological invasions of privacy and know how to insist on safeguards or know how to exit from questionable practices.
13 T/Ps know full well what is a healthy and productive learning experience and if all efforts fail know how to ride out a crisis and provide make-up solutions or antidotes at home.
14 T/Ps know that they are the client in a school situation when their child is at issue and know the routes, angles and procedures to follow if they meet with resistance instead of responsiveness and are not easily discouraged from pursuing their rights and entitlements.
15 T/Ps fully know parent rights in education and just don’t want them written down for other parents to know.