These posts are what I was responding to (see my response at Read More):
>Over 85% maybe?!
>—– Original Message —–
>> Subject: Re: ]Changing …behaviors – not allowing failure
>> Pat, it isn’t just “well off” schools! My school population is mostly low
>> income and blue collar, and no matter that I make my grading policies very
>> clear up front, i still get calls from parents , etc. I agree with
>> Marilyn. It’s not the kids in many cases today; it’s the parents and many
>> of them
>> are not making the kids responsible.
Maybe this is it! (I keep trying to find a key to this discrepancy in how we
view the situtation).
The school I subbed in for 5 weeks is filled with teachers complaining about
parental interference, even kids bringing lawyers to school, etc. Horrible.
In 5 weeks, I got more parent e-mails and phone calls than I had got in 20
years at my old school. BUT, once I dealt with the parent, I had no more
issues with them. They reported to the principal that I was doing a good
(Disclaimer: I know this may not be entirely clear to some readers, but
these posts are getting very long and detailed and we already have one
suggestion we stop, so e-mail me privately if you need more info…. or go
to my blog.)
My own idea is this, based just on my own life span (66 years) and relatively normal school experience…. except that I went to more schools in more states than some kids: the only parents who tried to control the school were the better-off parents, fewer in number in my day. They certainly existed and everyone, esp in a small town, knew who they were. OTOH, these people bobnobbed with the teachers – the town emptied into the stadium or armory every Friday night – and were on a first-name basis with them.
There is great pressure on parents now to provide a college education for their kids and the cost has risen tremendously – I took a full load at ASU for $54 in 1959 and was taught almost entirely by professors, no TAs – with scholarships the only way for many to attend college. The h.s. are huge, 2300 in my case, and often both parents work. In my old school, only the LDS kids seemed to have stability and their school performance was usually quite good. The rest of the school had a high transiency rate. So parents feel the need to come in fast and hard to ’take care of’ their kid.
Teachers at my school would often have the gall not to show up at difficult-to-arrange parent-teacher conferences. For some teachers, a parent taking an afternoon off work was just not big enough a deal – let ’em reschedule or some such. Very sad.
So I am not saying there is no problem with students or parents nor that there are no differences between now and 40 years ago. What I want to see is some balance and a genuine effort toward promoting education without demonizing some group as lazy or selfish or irresponsible.
Plus I am frustrated b/c I wrote this better a minute ago and lost it. AAArrrggghhhh.