How do you ensure that your children are getting the best education? There is no right or conclusive answer to that question. There are so many factors in education. But one thing is certain—you should never leave it up to the schools.
Don’t get me wrong. There are excellent public school systems. The one in Beverly Hills competes well with any private schools. Of course, if you’re not lucky enough to live in a rich school district? You can accept a second class education or consider private schools. But this caveat, do not leave your child’s learning applies to private schools as well. The thing is, schools have their own agendas.
There was a study done in the ‘eighties’ that argued very well that school boards reflect the needs of their community’s businesses. And one of the reasons for the rise in public schools was that business realized that it needed a skilled workforce and a public school system would shift the burden and costs of training to the schools. So, if you live in a mining town, you can expect that the school’s curriculum will reflect that. Or you can go to a private school, 90% of which are religious; the other 10%, largely military. So, unless you’re of the school’s faith, or want your child to serve in the military, you may be in trouble. Again, there is nothing wrong with a religious education or with wanting your child to serve his or her country.
Common core fixed the problem of the schools having their own agenda, right? No, it standardized and gave a federal agenda to the process of your child’s education. You may be happy with Betsy Voss and Donald Trump deciding what is best for your child, but you really shouldn’t be.
And consider this. A survey by the American Federation of Teachers and Badass Teachers Association, released on Monday, shows that teachers are feeling especially stressed and are less enthusiastic about their jobs that before. And the retention rate among teachers is still abysmal. So, you want to leave your child’s education to overworked, stressed out, unenthusiastic teachers who will probably end up in another job where they can make gobs more money, right? Again, there are good teachers, but roll that around in your mind for a while.
So how to ensure that your children are getting the best education? Here are some tips:
- Consider homeschooling. You are in control of your child’s education every step of the way.
- Be involved. You may not have the time to homeschool. Maybe your child is science-bent, and you don’t have the means to provide a science education. Maybe you like the idea of public schools. But in that case, you need to attend PTA meetings, consult regularly with your child’s teachers, research the schools, and find out what special help is available if your child has special needs.
- Hire a tutor. A tutor is a teacher that is responsible to you, not to a school board, a teacher’s union, or Betsy Voss.
- Help your child with his or her studies. If they are beyond you, see tip 3 above.
Above all, make learning fun. You will be rewarded and so will your kids.