A parent has a problem about her kid in school. How far can she get before she faces an institutional wall?
First, there were the hurdles to overcome, the following of a chain of command. Long, feeling browbeaten, problem not solved.
– The teacher, while one person, will soon draw upon the resources of her union to protect and defend her if she feels it's warranted. The union has an institutional memory going back to the Russian Revolution. It has secretaries, research specialists, lawyers and tons of files all there to help their member.
– The principal, equally has the support of his association.
– The school board is another maze of personnel and procedures.
– AND ON IT GOES.
Everyone seems to have their support group behind them. A parent is alone. Even if there is a parent group in the school they are forbidden from touching personnel or personal issues. A larger group such as a provincial or state association usually can only help in a procedural way.
The parent's journey starts in K or Grade 1, with great eagerness and trust. Then things slow down. Then the parent can't wait to graduate out with her child.
While we know that it is really, ultimately and primarily, the parent's responsiblity to educate or see their child educated, "the system" created to help is overwhelming and not always helpful.
This website will try in the coming months to provide, from the resources available, to be a clearinghouse of information to build some memory for parents — a continuity from what parents have learned in the past. We don't need to reinvent the wheel all the time!
I — PARENT REPORT CARDS
Doesn't matter how busy parents are, they are used to receiving regular report cards from their school so they can keep on top of how their child is doing. They can depend on that. Or can they?
Go to this story from two years back to see how report cards can actually be withheld during a teacher strike. For a whole year.
Even if we claim that is illegal, it was done. [Now we have a new situation of changing reporting, illegally and outside the School Act. But, that’s another story, another post soon.]