How Parents Can Push Back Against Troubling Trends in Education
Schooling today is rife with problems. From neglecting kids who need the most help to over-testing students, to censorship, there are plenty of points of contention among those involved with our education system. Fortunately, there are an assortment of unique ways for parents to push back against these troubling trends.
How are parents are pushing back against “one size fits all” schools
While there are many benefits of mainstream education, there are a variety of alternative schools in which parents might opt to send their children. Mainstream education tends to neglect kids in disconcerting ways—enforcing a false “one size fits all” model onto diverse students with vastly different ways of learning and growing. Kids who see and learn from the world differently are often forced into models that hinder their ability to learn—and they absolutely suffer for it. Public schools today see 1.2 million students dropping out of school.
A great percentage of children are not allowed to succeed, and this is largely due to neglecting that kid with different and unique ways of learning. Alternative education models, like Montessori schools and free schools, offer parents and students a way out of constricting education models and into schooling meets each individual students’ needs. This is indirect, but nevertheless, an influential way for parents to push back against a problematic “one size fits all” model for which public schools often thrive.
How are they responding to over testing?
Over-testing students have gained traction as another problem in our modern education systems. While testing may have certain merits, such as determining whether to advance certain students or figuring out which students may need extra help in certain areas or subjects, it can also be problematic. It raises stress levels of both students and families, and many tests are voluntary, but not transparently so.
Over-testing also takes away time that would be dedicated to essential lesson plans in schools. In this way, it can almost have the opposite effect of what it is intended to do. Supporting organizations like UTLA, which directly engages with both schools and policymakers through a variety of chapters across the United States, is a powerful way to push back against over-testing in schools.
How about censorship
Another area in education that causes great tension is the tendency for certain schools to advocate for the problematic censorship of educational material and lesson plans. While there certainly are many subject matters that push and exceed the boundaries of what is appropriate to teach in public school settings, censorship in public schools can be a real problem.
Censorship leads to tremendous gaps in knowledge and can have real-life consequences. For example, certain schools which censor sex-education neglect to provide important information about resources like birth control and condoms to their youth. This can have life-shattering consequences for students. Parents can push back against censorship by supporting organizations such as the National Coalition Against Censorship.
These are just a few ways in which parents can push back against troubling trends in education. While there are many other issues to fight and work against, this brief overview of just a few of those issues reveals the power that parents have to make their voices heard, to alter problematic systems, and to change schooling for the better.