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Who Listens To Parents?

January 13, 2014 by Tunya

It doesn’t matter how logical and practical parents are with their suggestions — it doesn’t matter how much common sense they demonstrate — parents don’t seem to count in decisions being made about education of their children.

The letter from the young parent in Cowichan School District, says a lot —

"This is exactly the suggestion I wrote on my form at the Cowichan School District initial consultation. School boards should be abolished and school-based management adopted. Imagine how much money could be saved and how much more child focused the system could become."  But who will listen to such sensible suggestions?

Far too many decisions in public education are made for the convenience of “the system”. It’s become, unfortunately, an employment agency for educators and bureaucrats who easily overwhelm any logic coming from parents who advocate for their children.

Older parents can’t wait for the day they will “graduate” with their children and leave all these frustrating, often unsatisfactory, school relations behind.

Really old parents, who are now grandparents, can’t believe that the same old problems keep arising, with parents still left out in the cold.

Whereas the other players in the system have the benefit of strong organizations and an institutional memory, parents do not. Reinventing the wheel is the norm. But, of course, any parent’s blurted out commonsense is still left in the dust as the system steamrolls ahead with its own priorities. 

And parents, on a day-to-day basis, are really too busy with their children to do much research or organizing.

Thankfully, with the Internet, we are blessed with some enhanced ability to sort through issues. Parent knowledge is a scarce and untapped resource, rarely consulted or instrumental in decision-making. About the only time this knowledge counts is when families decide to home educate or choose a private school for their child. Or, if they live in New Zealand, they are involved in school-based management.


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