"Support Needed" Do you see that on your kid's report card? In practical terms, that simply translates into the parent needing to buy tutoring service for their child. And, that is what is happening to a greater degree in the so-called "parent involvement world" today.
Math tutoring services in the community are thriving.
Tokenism, lip service, and symbolic use of parents is a common experience of parents in public schools.
Parents by nature (chemically, psychologically, and instinctively) are geared to look after their children. They want to make a difference in their children’s lives – in their lifetimes and in the lifetimes of their children.
How many old-timers can testify that their natural instincts to advocate for their children were deflected or crushed? How many saw their children’s interests become second-fiddle to the school system’s agendas?
* Currently, how many parents are frustrated in their dealings with the public school system? How would parents like to be treated? What would make a difference so that they feel more instrumental — in charge of their children’s education? How can parent energy be used to help students? Ask them.
So, when we are promised MORE parent involvement, let’s make sure it’s not more of the same – diversionary busywork, fundraising, endless meetings, etc. (20 other descriptions of ineffective displacement tactics could easily be listed.)
Parent involvement has come through many evolutions – participation, consultation, involvement, advisory, engagement. The term engagement is more in vogue now, connoting something more meaningful and direct.