Parents of every economic and social class once sent their children to the local public school with the confidence that they would learn the basic skills of literacy and numeracy, and acquire a fund of general knowledge about their culture and the world.
In previous times, children who went so far as to graduate from high school possessed information and skills that enabled them to take entry-level jobs as office clerks and bank tellers.
That time is past.
Today, 60% of the children who stay in school long enough to graduate from twelfth grade are unable to read at grade level or write an orderly, error-free essay.
Parents can no longer afford to send their children to public school and then stand back passively. Parents who want their children to acquire adult literacy skills must be prepared to start the educational process as soon as their children are born and continue to monitor and supplement their work as they proceed through the grades.
Parents must become teachers because today’s schools have been taken over by politicians and corporate consultants whose focus is the production of a narrowly educated technical workforce.
Current school reforms address the top 40% of the school population that comes from financially secure homes. They do nothing to address the ineffective method of reading instruction that dooms two-thirds of the nation’s children to reading failure.
You are already involved in your child’s education. Reading this far proves it. I hope you will make use of the various materials about reading and spelling to make sure that your child is acquiring basic skills that lead to adult literacy.
Get to know your children’s teachers. Always assume that they are doing their best for your child, but never forget that their effectiveness may be limited by school policies and by flawed teacher training they received at the university level.
Bottomline: Know what you want your children to learn and have them show you at home that they have learned it.