Influential Voices: Quality in Education

I’ve written about quality in education before. So when Julia wrote her guest post on the View from the Q blog last month, I knew that I wanted to revisit the topic. Michele Ree’s name looked familiar, and I couldn’t figure out why. Then I saw it in my e-mail – I am on the mailing list for her organization, Students First.\

I realize that my own story is just anecdotal, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that my own kids don’t expect praise for mediocre work or for just showing up. Even my son, who tends to be on the lazy side, understands that if he wants to be successful in school, that he needs to study, and that it is not enough to simply be present. The kids in our school district are held accountable for the work assigned, and expected to perform. I’ve never been in a classroom where this has not been the case. My kids are learning things in school much younger than I ever did, and they are having more opportunities for enrichment, like the Young Scholars camp both my kids will attend this summer, and the boys science weekend my son will attend (my daughter is a year to young for the girl’s weekend, but she is looking forward to attending next year.).

Do all of our schools adequately prepare our kids for the careers that will be available when they graduate? No – I’m sure that there are failing schools – the numbers tell us that. Students First gives my state a D+. But that doesn’t mean our schools are giving my kids a D+ education. As parents, we also play a strong role in the quality of education our children receive. Some children have to learn in spite of their parents, just as some children have to learn in spite of their teachers. Quality public education is critical. But it is something that we all play a role in – the students, teachers, administrators and our public officials.

How are you involved in improving the quality of public education?