As state legislators and school districts increasingly consider and pass policies that encourage parent choice and say in education, criticism of parents’ knowledge and abilities have likewise increased.
The American Federation of Children has recently published a new website aimed to collate striking quotes from those who think parents aren’t able to make good choices for their children and provide parents resources to become knowledgeable education consumers: ParentsKnowBest.com.
One example: “I’m not saying [parents] don’t want the best for their children, but they may not know what actually is best,” from Debbie Squires of the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association.
Another made national headlines when, because of it, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal called on the speaker to resign: “If I’m a parent in poverty I have no clue because I’m trying to struggle and live day to day,” Michael Walker Jones, executive director of the Louisiana Association of Educators, explaining why poor parents shouldn’t be able to remove their children from the state’s worst schools.
“Many in the education establishment believe that they do have a better understanding of what’s best for children. However, their comments and actions express that they would rather protect a broken education system than empower parents to take action to better their child’s education,” said Randan Swindler, an AFC spokeswoman. “No one understands a child better than [his or her] own parent, and we encourage parents to get involved, let their voices be heard, and demand more choices so their children can access a quality education.”
Parents Know Best video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DgCpbrNBiPM
Image by New Jersey Library Association.