> But in general, parents can either be brought on
> board or left to drift in the wind. If the latter
> course is chosen (actively or passively), expect
> the worst.
I really agree with Michael here, that parental
involvement is critical. Their kids' time and
futures are somewhat at stake, plus parents get
roped in to helping with the homework, as their
parents did, and so had better understand where
the math is coming from.
Or, if the public system dishes out something so
new the parents really can't help with it that much,
such as computer programming, then said system at
least better earn some trust that it's up to this
job, given how the parents are feeling more
marginalized, when it comes to the content, less able
to pretend it's their own childhood all over again.
Where I disagree with Michael is over whether parent
involvement can be solved with a few readings or
brochures, written in some flavor of academese, designed
to bolster and/or reassure about the product and/or
approach. That's what we call advertising, and although
we're not against positive PR by any means, use it
ourselves, it's gotta go a lot deeper than that.
These kids may have only this one chance to avoid death
in Iraq. If the public system doesn't do the right thing,
we could have yet another generation doomed to ignorance,
and ignorant populations tend to be easy prey, willing to
do the bidding of their overlords, considering it not
their job or responsibility to consider what's right.
Democracy fights breeding in compliance to that dangerous
degree. The schools are a front line.
Anyway, I tell parents that reform movements since the
the 1980s have been a disaster, since they're all remnants
of the failed "no computer languages" movement, which went
off in a wrong direction. In today's world, you really do
need to understand about databases, because that's where
policy decisions get implemented in cold, hard SQL.
You have no hope whatsoever in participating meaningfully
in this democracy if your teachers wall you off from the
action that way and deny you fluency and/or alphanumeracy
So learn on your own, in coffee shops, wherever,
if you're an adult. And if you're a kid, fight to have
them *stop* feeding you crappola, both in the classroom
*and* in the cafeteria. It's your right. Walk out if
In any case, no one should have to settle for pretty
speeches and brochures.