This week on CNN, Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers, said that many school districts across the nation are providing instruction to their students via “Virtual Learning & Project Based Activities” from home. She said that many teachers were already utilizing technology inside their classrooms – which makes it easier now that they must use it exclusively, to communicate with their students.
However, a Los Angeles Times article discloses how the coronavirus shutdown, exposes “student inequities” where poorer students don’t have access to the same resources as more affluent families. Of course, this is nothing new to those who pay close attention to public education. And that’s why it’s critical in these days & times, that students of color, and poor students in general learn new & innovative ways, to narrow the achievement gap.
I believe now is the time to take bold steps, in empowering parents to become more involved in their children’s education. A recommendation I have is to create a new “official role” for parents to be compensated for being an active participant in the process of educating their children.
What would this new & official role look like in California? Well it could start by mandating “parent education” for all parents/guardians of school aged children, especially for those students who are failing or at risk of failing, providing compensation to parents who participate (maybe in the form of a stipend), and support for things such as transportation, technology, child care, meals, real oversite of school programs/services with stakeholders who include educators, other school staff, parents, students, community members, etc.
It would be a boost to the economy, putting millions of $ dollars into the economy, and shoring up the support for school systems, who are in much need of innovative solutions to “systemically improve public education.”
Public education has spent billions of dollars just here in California over the years, and countless manpower hours within the current system…. just to say we still have not made significant progress in closing the achievement gap! For the sake of our State and Country, and a dire need to get back to a strong Country – can we just say, “it’s time to try something new & innovative?”